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Into the Gray Zone: A Neuroscientist Explores the Border Between Life and Death Hardcover – June 1, 2017

4.9 out of 5 stars 113 ratings

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Riveting and strangely uplifting . . . the testimonies of people who have returned from the gray zone evoke the mysteries of consciousness and identity with tremendous power."
The New Yorker

“Astonishing . . . ground-breaking research . . . Science as an act of adventure, and also rescue. Owen is intrepid, and vulnerable. It never feels less than miraculous when he pulls a fellow human out of the dark.”
The Times (UK) Book of the Week

“[A] fascinating memoir . . . The Gray Zone reads like a thriller as [Owen] recounts his and his teams’ efforts to explore [the] ‘gray zone’ . . . Owen’s enthusiasm for his science crackles from the pages. His determination to fight for the scores of voiceless gray-zone patients he encounters, to prove they’re ‘thinking, feeling people’ is hugely thought-provoking and deeply moving.”
Mail on Sunday (UK)

“Ground-breaking . . . a fascinating and accessible account of cutting-edge science, and of those whose lives have been altered in an instant . . . ?Owen’s enthusiasm for his subject is infectious . . . This book will be required reading for anyone sitting by a loved one’s bedside, caregivers, doctors, ethicists, lawyers and philosophers.”
Sunday Times (UK)

“A fascinating and highly readable book, written with evangelical fervor . . . gripping and moving.”
—New Statesman 

Into the Gray Zone weaves a fascinating tale using medical data, heart-wrenching case studies and [Owen’s] own personal experiences.”
—Good Housekeeping 

“[A] remarkable book . . . Through examinations of human brains damaged by trauma, tumors, infections and vascular accidents, [Owen] attempts to explore the nature of consciousness . . . [his] experiments have allowed vegetative-state patients with residual consciousness to connect with the external world.”
—Literary Review (UK)

"Meshing memoir with scientific explication, Owen reveals how functional magnetic resonance imaging can probe the deep space of trapped minds. It's a riveting read, from the march of technology and tests for neural responses—such as imagining playing a game of tennis—to extraordinary personal accounts of the 'gray zone' by partially recovered patients."
Nature magazine

“Although he has written hundreds of research papers about his work, Into the Gray Zone is Owen’s first book pulling it altogether in fast-paced prose. Readers should prepare to be educated, yes. But more satisfyingly, they should prepare to be fascinated, astonished and, at times, moved to tears.”
—Winnipeg Free Press

“The model of how pop science involving sensational subjects should be done.”
—The Globe and Mail

About the Author

Adrian Owen is currently the Canada Excellence Research Chair in Cognitive Neuroscience and imaging at The Brain and Mind Institute, Western University, Canada. He has spent the last twenty years pioneering breakthroughs in cognitive neuroscience. Among the media outlets that have featured Adrian’s research are The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The New Yorker, Nature, The Lancet, Science, and The New England Journal of Medicine. A resident of London, Ontario, he can be found at OwenLab.uwo.ca.

Product details

  • Item Weight : 1.25 pounds
  • Hardcover : 320 pages
  • ISBN-10 : 1501135201
  • ISBN-13 : 978-1501135200
  • Publisher : Scribner; 1st edition (June 1, 2017)
  • Language: : English
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.9 out of 5 stars 113 ratings

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Customer reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
4.9 out of 5
113 global ratings
5 star
89%
4 star
10%
3 star
1%
2 star 0% (0%) 0%
1 star 0% (0%) 0%
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Top reviews from the United States

Reviewed in the United States on September 28, 2017
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Reviewed in the United States on February 28, 2018
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Reviewed in the United States on October 27, 2017
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Reviewed in the United States on November 2, 2017
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Reviewed in the United States on April 10, 2019
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Reviewed in the United States on January 21, 2019
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Reviewed in the United States on February 6, 2020
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Reviewed in the United States on October 10, 2018
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Top reviews from other countries

Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars then this is a very good read. He writes as if he is chatting ...
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on October 6, 2017
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7 people found this helpful
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Satyr
5.0 out of 5 stars A well-written and informative account
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on September 30, 2017
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4 people found this helpful
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Rob Sedgwick
4.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating subject
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on October 25, 2017
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John Sheldon
3.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating but irritating
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on October 27, 2017
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5 people found this helpful
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Roger Mackenzie
4.0 out of 5 stars I can't now remember why I bought this e-book. It has expanded considerably my appreciation of the complexities summarised by the term 'vegetative state'. I did not come away from reading this with a perception of the frequency of cases where consciousness of whatever order can be shown to be present in people with obvious brain traumas. The book is obviously very much focused on the details of a few people whose consciousness is discernibly active despite an apparent major loss of physical responsiveness. Another term 'locked in syndrome' is potentially terrifying though the cases described in detail here do not seem to exhibit entrapment as a reaction to their plight.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on November 12, 2017
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