Pupil responses allow communication in locked-in syndrome patients

Curr Biol. 2013 Aug 5;23(15):R647-8. doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2013.06.011.


For patients with severe motor disabilities, a robust means of communication is a crucial factor for their well-being [1]. We report here that pupil size measured by a bedside camera can be used to communicate with patients with locked-in syndrome. With the same protocol we demonstrate command-following for a patient in a minimally conscious state, suggesting its potential as a diagnostic tool for patients whose state of consciousness is in question. Importantly, neither training nor individual adjustment of our system's decoding parameters were required for successful decoding of patients' responses.

Publication types

  • Controlled Clinical Trial
  • Letter
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Communication*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Persistent Vegetative State / diagnosis*
  • Photography / instrumentation*
  • Pupil / physiology*
  • Quadriplegia*
  • Young Adult