According to lead researcher Lorina Naci, the interpretation of human thought from brain activity – without depending on speech or action – is one of the most provoking and challenging frontiers of modern neuroscience.

Specifically, patients who are fully conscious and awake, yet, due to brain damage, are unable to show any behavioral responsivity, expose the limits of the neuromuscular system and the necessity for alternate forms of communication.

In the study, participants were asked to concentrate on a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ response to questions like ‘Are you married?’ or ‘Do you have brothers and sisters?’ and only think their response, not speak it.