For a book written by a neuroscientist, Into the Gray Zone is surprisingly understandable and engaging. Adrian Owen explains the science behind his attempts to understand what goes on in the brains of people who, because of a disease, disorder, or injury, are left in a vegetative state. He, and many scientists like him, have spent years trying to answer the question, “Despite outward appearance, are some people in a vegetative state actually conscious, and aware of everything around them? And if so, is there a way to communicate with these people trapped within?” A fascinating and unexpectedly moving look at brain science and the people–doctors, researchers, and family members–who so desperately want to reach those who are lost in this gray zone.
This book manages to find the perfect balance between scientific, ethical, and existential questions. I highly recommend this book to anyone who is interested in studies of the brain–but not interested in dry, technical, indecipherable books. I also highly recommend this book to anyone who is interested in the ethics surrounding the right to live/right to die issue–but not interested in preachy, we-know-what’s-best-for-you books.
Recommended by Dennise