From Andrew Tarantola at Engadget:
The Harvard study examined 36 patients with similar brainstem lesions, 12 of which were comatose. The study sought to determine why that dozen of people lost consciousness while the other 24 retained theirs. The researchers quickly zeroed in on one region: the rostral dorsolateral pontine tegmentum. Ten of the twelve comatose patients suffered damage to this area, while only one of the conscious patients did.More.
It will be interesting to see if this is replicated. One guesses that it is a bit more complex.
See also: Evading the hard problem of human consciousness: Consciousness is in everything!
What great physicists have said about immateriality and consciousness
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