Vegetative patient 'speaks' to doctors through scanner
13 November 2012 Last updated at 07:10 GMT
A man thought to have been in a vegetative state for more than 10 years, has been able to let scientists know that he is not in any pain.
Scott Routley was asked questions while having his brain activity scanned.
Fergus Walsh reports.
The Mind Reader: Unlocking My Voice- a Panorama Special - will be broadcast on Tuesday 13 November at 22:35 on BBC One. Or catch up later on the BBC iPlayer using the link above.