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Science Neuroscientists

Meet Adrian


Who is Adrian Owen?

For over 25 years, Adrian Owen has been a neuroscience leader. He has developed the tests and conducted the research behind Cambridge Brain Sciences, in addition to a scientific career that has influenced multiple disciplines.

Owen is currently the Canada Excellence Research Chair in Cognitive Neuroscience and Imaging at Western University. His work has spanned a variety of research areas, and a variety of locations, from Canada to Cambridge, UK—which is where Cambridge Brain Sciences gets its name.

Pioneering new techniques that combine neuroimaging with neuropsychological studies, Owen continues to unravel the secrets of the human brain.

He is perhaps best known for his work with patients who appear to be in a vegetative state. These people are locked in their bodies, appearing completely non-responsive—however, with functional scanning of their brains, Owen has revealed that they have a rich mental life.

They can even respond to questions using thoughts that show in brain scans. This research has led to prominent appearances in media outlets all over the world. Owen’s book Into the Gray Zone chronicles his journey into this borderline between life and death.

Research That Has Changed the World

Owen’s cognitive testing research has led to tests used to make discoveries about disorders that affect the brain, such as Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, Huntington’s, depression, autism, and ADHD. Studies of healthy people have also revealed how cognition changes over the lifespan, and in response to lifestyle choices such as hobbies and exercise.

His research has been cited in highly influential journals, and covered by the world's top media organizations. These videos provide a fascinating introduction to just some of Adrian's work.

Today, Adrian’s lab at the Brain and Mind Institute continues to perform groundbreaking research, much of which uses and contributes to Cambridge Brain Sciences.

  • BBC: The Mind Reader
  • The New York Times: Scaffolds of Consciousness
  • BBC: Does Brain Training Work?