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.