Adrian M Owen

Adrian M Owen
The University of Western Ontario | UWO · The Brain and Mind Institute

PhD

About

518
Publications
112,165
Reads
How we measure 'reads'
A 'read' is counted each time someone views a publication summary (such as the title, abstract, and list of authors), clicks on a figure, or views or downloads the full-text. Learn more
52,671
Citations
Introduction
Prof Adrian M. Owen is currently a Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience and Imaging at Western University, Canada. His work combines structural and functional neuroimaging with neuropsychological studies of brain-injured patients. His research has shown that functional neuroimaging can reveal conscious awareness in some patients who appear to be entirely vegetative, and can even allow some of these individuals to communicate their thoughts and wishes to the outside world. You can access reprints of all of his scientific publications at https://owenlab.uwo.ca/publications/journal_articles.html
Additional affiliations
January 2011 - March 2016
The University of Western Ontario
Position
  • Canada Excellence Research Chair (CERC)
January 2011 - present
Western University
Position
  • Professor

Publications

Publications (518)
Article
Full-text available
We used functional magnetic resonance imaging to demonstrate preserved conscious awareness in a patient fulfilling the criteria for a diagnosis of vegetative state. When asked to imagine playing tennis or moving around her home, the patient activated predicted cortical areas in a manner indistinguishable from that of healthy volunteers.
Article
Full-text available
'Brain training', or the goal of improved cognitive function through the regular use of computerized tests, is a multimillion-pound industry, yet in our view scientific evidence to support its efficacy is lacking. Modest effects have been reported in some studies of older individuals and preschool children, and video-game players outperform non-pla...
Article
Full-text available
The differential diagnosis of disorders of consciousness is challenging. The rate of misdiagnosis is approximately 40%, and new methods are required to complement bedside testing, particularly if the patient's capacity to show behavioral signs of awareness is diminished. At two major referral centers in Cambridge, United Kingdom, and Liege, Belgium...
Article
Full-text available
The interpretation of human consciousness from brain activity, without recourse to speech or action, is one of the most provoking and challenging frontiers of modern neuroscience. We asked whether there is a common neural code that underpins similar conscious experiences, which could be used to decode these experiences in the absence of behavior. T...
Article
Patients diagnosed as vegetative have periods of wakefulness, but seem to be unaware of themselves or their environment. Although functional MRI (fMRI) studies have shown that some of these patients are consciously aware, issues of expense and accessibility preclude the use of fMRI assessment in most of these individuals. We aimed to assess bedside...
Preprint
To understand how pharmacological interventions can exert their powerful effects on brain function, we need to understand how they engage the brain's rich neurotransmitter landscape. Here, we bridge microscale molecular chemoarchitecture and pharmacologically-induced macroscale functional reorganisation, by relating the regional distribution of 18...
Preprint
In the human electroencephalogram (EEG), oscillatory power peaks co-exist with non-oscillatory, aperiodic activity. Although EEG analysis has traditionally focused exclusively on oscillatory power, recent investigations have shown that the aperiodic EEG component can distinguish conscious wakefulness from sleep and anesthetic-induced unconsciousnes...
Article
Full-text available
The human brain entertains rich spatiotemporal dynamics, which are drastically reconfigured when consciousness is lost due to anaesthesia or disorders of consciousness (DOC). Here, we sought to identify the neurobiological mechanisms that explain how transient pharmacological intervention and chronic neuroanatomical injury can lead to common reconf...
Article
Full-text available
This paper critically examines whether patients with severe brain injury, who can only communicate through assistive neuroimaging technologies, may permissibly participate in medical decisions. We examine this issue in the context of a unique case study from the Brain and Mind Institute at the University of Western Ontario. First, we describe how t...
Article
Full-text available
During sleep we lack conscious awareness of the external environment. Yet, our internal mental state suggests that high-level cognitive processes persist. The nature and extent to which the external environment is processed during sleep remain largely unexplored. Here, we used an fMRI synchronization-based approach to examine responses to a narrati...
Article
Full-text available
Resting-state functional connectivity (rsFC) has gained popularity mainly due to its simplicity and potential for providing insights into various brain disorders. In this vein, functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) is an attractive choice due to its portability, flexibility, and low cost, allowing for bedside imaging of brain function. Whil...
Article
Full-text available
Small world topologies are thought to provide a valuable insight into human brain organisation and consciousness. However, functional magnetic resonance imaging studies in consciousness have not yielded consistent results. Given the importance of dynamics for both consciousness and cognition, here we investigate how the diversity of small world dyn...
Article
Full-text available
The sleep spindle, a waxing and waning oscillation in the sigma frequency range, has been shown to correlate with fluid intelligence; i.e. the ability to use logic, learn novel rules/patterns, and solve problems. Using simultaneous EEG and fMRI, we previously identified the neural correlates of this relationship, including activation of the thalamu...
Article
Full-text available
Multi-modal neuroimaging techniques have the potential to dramatically improve the diagnosis of the level consciousness and prognostication of neurological outcome for patients with severe brain injury in the intensive care unit (ICU). This protocol describes a study that will utilize functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI), electroencephalogr...
Article
The impact of blood pressure (BP) on cognition in older adults remains equivocal. We investigated the relationships between cognition (global and domain‐specific) and ambulatory blood pressure in older adults with subjective cognitive decline (SCD). We conducted a cross‐sectional exploratory analysis of data collected from 230 community‐dwelling ol...
Article
The impact of exercise on cognition in older adults with hypertension and subjective cognitive decline (SCD) is unclear. In this study, we examined the influence of high‐intensity interval training (HIIT) combined with mind‐motor training on cognition and systolic blood pressure (BP) in older adults with hypertension and SCD. We randomized 128 comm...
Article
Full-text available
People with Alzheimer's disease (AD) demonstrate a range of alterations in consciousness. Changes in awareness of cognitive deficit, self‐awareness, and introspection are seen early in AD, and dysfunction of awareness and arousal progresses with increasing disease severity. However, heterogeneity of deficits between individuals and a lack of empiri...
Article
Rationale: Predicting recovery of consciousness in unresponsive, brain-injured individuals has crucial implications for clinical decision-making. Propofol induces distinctive brain network reconfiguration in the healthy brain as it loses consciousness. In patients with disorders of consciousness, the brain network's reconfiguration to propofol may...
Article
Full-text available
An outstanding issue in cognitive neuroscience concerns how the brain is organized across different conditions. For instance, during the resting-state condition, the brain can be clustered into reliable and reproducible networks (e.g., sensory, default, executive networks). Interestingly, the same networks emerge during active conditions in respons...
Article
Full-text available
Background Severe brain injury is a leading cause of death and disability. Diagnosis and prognostication are difficult, and errors occur often. Novel neuroimaging methods can improve diagnostic and prognostic accuracy, especially in patients with prolonged disorders of consciousness (PDoC). Yet it is currently unknown how family caregivers understa...
Article
Full-text available
Over the last few decades, neuroimaging techniques have transformed our understanding of the brain and the effect of neurological conditions on brain function. More recently, light-based modalities such as functional near-infrared spectroscopy have gained popularity as tools to study brain function at the bedside. A recent application is to assess...
Article
Full-text available
Sleep resting state network (RSN) functional connectivity (FC) is poorly understood, particularly for rapid eye movement (REM), and in non-sleep deprived subjects. REM and non-REM (NREM) sleep involve competing drives; towards hypersynchronous cortical oscillations in NREM; and towards wake-like desynchronized oscillations in REM. This study employ...
Article
Full-text available
Recent research indicates prolonged disorders of consciousness (PDOC) result from structural and functional impairments to key cortical and subcortical networks, including the default mode network (DMN) and the anterior forebrain mesocircuit (AFM). However, the specific mechanisms which underpin such impairments remain unknown. It is known that dis...
Article
Full-text available
Significance: Despite its advantages in terms of safety, low cost, and portability, functional near-infrared spectroscopy applications can be challenging due to substantial signal contamination from hemodynamics in the extracerebral layer (ECL). Time-resolved near-infrared spectroscopy (tr NIRS) can improve sensitivity to brain activity but contami...
Article
Introduction Much is known about the behavioural and cognitive consequences of chronic sleep loss but relatively little is known about the changes in brain activity associated with reduced vigilance after mild and acute sleep loss. Mild and acute sleep loss is generally thought to be innocuous despite research showing emotional processing, visual a...
Article
Full-text available
Investigating human consciousness based on brain activity alone is a key challenge in cognitive neuroscience. One of its central facets, the ability to form autobiographical memories, has been investigated through several fMRI studies that have revealed a pattern of activity across a network of frontal, parietal, and medial temporal lobe regions wh...
Preprint
Full-text available
Recent research indicates prolonged disorders of consciousness (PDOC) result from structural and functional impairments to key cortical and subcortical networks including the default mode network (DMN) and the anterior forebrain mesocircuit (AFM). However, the specific mechanisms which underpin such impairments remain unknown. It is known that disr...
Article
Full-text available
Background: The impact of exercise on cognition in older adults with hypertension and subjective cognitive decline (SCD) is unclear. Objectives: We determined the influence of high-intensity interval training (HIIT) combined with mind-motor training on cognition and systolic blood pressure (BP) in older adults with hypertension and SCD. Methods: We...
Article
Full-text available
Maintaining cognitive health across the lifespan has been the focus of a multi-billion-dollar industry. In order to guide treatment and interventions, a clear understanding of the way that proficiency in different cognitive domains develops and declines in both sexes across the lifespan is necessary. Additionally, there are sex differences in a ran...
Preprint
Full-text available
Small world topologies are thought to provide a valuable insight into human brain organisation and consciousness. However, functional magnetic resonance imaging studies in consciousness have not yielded consistent results. Given the importance of dynamics for both consciousness and cognition, here we investigate how the diversity of brain dynamics...
Article
Full-text available
Diffusion tractography is a non-invasive technique that is being used to estimate the location and direction of white matter tracts in the brain. Identifying the characteristics of white matter plays an important role in research as well as in clinical practice that relies on finding the relationship between the structure and function of the brain....
Preprint
Full-text available
As COVID-19 cases exceed hundreds of millions globally, it is clear that many survivors face cognitive challenges and prolonged symptoms. However, important questions about the cognitive impacts of COVID-19 remain unresolved. In the present online study, 485 volunteers who reported having had a confirmed COVID-positive test completed a comprehensiv...
Preprint
Full-text available
The human brain generates a rich repertoire of spatiotemporal dynamics during normal wakefulness, supporting a wide variety of conscious experiences and cognitive functions. However, neural dynamics are reconfigured, in comparable ways, when consciousness is lost either due to anaesthesia or disorders of consciousness (DOC). Here, leveraging a neur...
Article
Objective: To understand the multiple and sometimes conflicting roles substitute decision makers (SDMs) of individuals in a vegetative state (VS), minimally conscious state (MCS), or with locked-in syndrome (LIS) perform while caring for a loved one and the competing priorities derived from these roles. Methods: We conducted semi-structured qualita...
Article
Primary Objective: To understand the experiences of family members of individuals in a locked-in state (LIS), minimally conscious state (MCS), or vegetative state (VS) with the health-care system when caring for their family member. Research Design: The study adopted a qualitative descriptive approach drawing on central tenets of constructivist gro...
Article
Full-text available
Fourteen patients with severe brain injuries and chronic disorders of consciousness underwent polysomnographic recordings for a 24-h period. Their electrophysiological data were scored using a modified sleep staging system employed in a previous study of similar patients (J Head Trauma Rehabil 30:334–346, 2015). In addition to sleep scoring, the pa...
Conference Paper
Whether task‐based brain functional connectivity (FC) following exercise suggests adaptations in preferential brain regions is unclear. The objective of this study was to explore cognitive function and FC changes following multiple‐modality exercise and mind‐motor training in older adults with subjective cognitive complaints. We included older adul...
Preprint
Full-text available
A central goal of neuroscience is to understand how the brain synthesises information from multiple inputs to give rise to a unified conscious experience. This process is widely believed to require integration of information. Here, we combine information theory and network science to address two fundamental questions: how is the human information-p...
Preprint
Research is mixed on whether playing a musical instrument leads to generalised cognitive benefits, and in which domains these improvements occur. Here, we leveraged a large (>6,000) sample of demographically-matched participants who either reported playing an instrument, or reported playing no instruments. Participants completed a well-established...
Article
Full-text available
Individuals who have suffered a severe brain injury typically require extensive hospitalization in intensive care units (ICUs), where critical treatment decisions are made to maximize their likelihood of recovering consciousness and cognitive function. These treatment decisions can be difficult when the neurological assessment of the patient is lim...
Article
Full-text available
Objective The current study investigated the behavioral, cognitive, and electrophysiological impact of mild (only a few hours) and acute (one night) sleep loss via simultaneously recorded behavioural and physiological measures of vigilance. Methods Participants (N = 23) came into the lab for two testing days where their brain activity and vigilanc...
Article
Full-text available
Patients diagnosed with disorders of consciousness show minimal or inconsistent behavioural evidence of conscious awareness. However, using functional neuroimaging, recent research in clinical neuroscience has identified a subpopulation of these patients who reliably produce neural markers indicative of awareness. In this study, we recorded electro...
Conference Paper
Patients in intensive care for severe acute brain injury will undergo a series of behavioural and neurological assessments to evaluate their residual neural function and track the progression of their recovery. However, the degree to which covert conscious awareness is retained during the acute stages of a serious brain injury is unclear. In this s...
Conference Paper
Functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) is an emerging optical technology that can be used to monitor brain function at the bedside. Recently, there has been a great interest in using fNIRS as a tool to assess command-driven brain activity in patients with severe brain injuries to infer residual awareness. In this study, time-resolved (TR) fN...
Article
The foundational tenet of brain training is that general cognitive functioning can be enhanced by completing computerized games, a notion that is both intuitive and appealing. Moreover, there is strong incentive to improve our cognitive abilities, so much so that it has driven a billion-dollar industry. However, whether brain training can really pr...
Article
Full-text available
Differences in the functional integrity of the brain from acute severe brain injury to subsequent recovery of consciousness have not been well documented. Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) may elucidate this issue as it allows for the objective measurement of brain function both at rest and in response to stimuli. Here, we report the cor...
Article
Full-text available
The analysis of spontaneous EEG activity and evoked potentials is a cornerstone of the instrumental evaluation of patients with disorders of consciousness (DoC). The past few years have witnessed an unprecedented surge in EEG-related research applied to the prediction and detection of recovery of consciousness after severe brain injury, opening up...
Article
Full-text available
Objective We investigated the long-term cognitive effects of concussion in 19,261 members of the general population and a cohort of varsity American football players with a history of frequent head impacts, using tests that are known to be sensitive to small changes in performance. Methods We asked 19,261 participants to complete a demographic que...
Preprint
Full-text available
Anaesthesia combined with functional neuroimaging provides a powerful approach for understanding the brain mechanisms of consciousness. Although propofol is used ubiquitously in clinical interventions that reversibly suppress consciousness, it shows large inter-individual variability, and the brain bases of this variability remain poorly understood...
Chapter
Human sleep can be broadly categorized as rapid eye movement (REM) and non-REM (NREM) sleep according to the electrophysiological features and oscillations that characterize these distinct states. The most dramatic changes that occur to sleep are observed over the course of the life span. With aging, the neural oscillations of sleep may provide ins...
Article
Full-text available
The data from patients with severe brain injuries show complex brain functions. Due to the difficulties associated with these complex data, computational modeling is an especially useful tool to examine the structure–function relationship in these populations. By using computational modeling for patients with a disorder of consciousness (DoC), not...
Article
Full-text available
Purpose: To generate foundational knowledge in the creation of a quality-of-life instrument for patients who are clinically diagnosed as being in a vegetative or minimally conscious state but are able to communicate by modulating their brain activity (i.e., behaviourally nonresponsive and covertly aware). The study aimed to identify a short list o...
Research
Full-text available
https://blogs.bmj.com/medical-ethics/2020/04/27/is-it-ethical-to-forcibly-withdraw-ventilators-from-nursing-home-patients-for-reallocation-to-covid-19-patients/
Article
Whether acquiring a second language affords any general advantages to executive function has been a matter of fierce scientific debate for decades. If being bilingual does have benefits over and above the broader social, employment, and lifestyle gains that are available to speakers of a second language, then it should manifest as a cognitive advan...
Article
Full-text available
In conditions of prognostic uncertainty, neurointensivists and families often struggle to make decisions for unresponsive patients with brain injuries. However, a new study demonstrates that after brain injury electrophysiological assessment (electroencephalography [EEG]) has potential prognostic value.¹ This could have profound implications for cl...
Article
Full-text available
Integrated Information Theory (IIT) posits that integrated information ( Φ ) represents the quantity of a conscious experience. Here, the generalized Ising model was used to calculate Φ as a function of temperature in toy models of fully connected neural networks. A Monte–Carlo simulation was run on 159 normalized, random, positively weighted netwo...
Preprint
Full-text available
Children who have been diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) often show a marked deficit in measures of social cognition. In autistic adults, measures of social cognition have been shown to relate to differences in brain synchronization (as measured by fMRI) when individuals are processing naturalistic stimuli, such as movies. However, whet...
Article
Full-text available
Long-term cognitive impairment is common among ICU survivors, but its natural history remains unclear. In this systematic review, we report the frequency of cognitive impairment in ICU survivors across various time points following ICU discharge that were extracted from 46 of the 3350 screened records. Prior studies used a range of cognitive instru...
Article
Full-text available
Brain-computer interfaces (BCIs) are becoming increasingly popular as a tool to improve the quality of life of patients with disabilities. Recently, time-resolved functional near-infrared spectroscopy (TR-fNIRS) based BCIs are gaining traction because of their enhanced depth sensitivity leading to lower signal contamination from the extracerebral l...