(New Scientist) A man in France has regained some aspects of consciousness after being in a vegetative state for 15 years, after surgeons used a technique to stimulate his brain via a nerve in the neck.

The 35-year-old was diagnosed as being in a vegetative state – now referred to as “unresponsive wakefulness” – after a car accident in 2001.

A person in this state might show involuntary movements, but has no awareness of self or their environment. Repeated tests over the years showed no improvement in the man’s condition.

Note: Read our discussion guidelines before commenting.