nto The Gray Zone by Adrian Owen is a captivating account of research about the non-physical existence of people who have no means of using movement or their bodies to communicate with the outside world. The book is perfectly written and paced for the lay audience, explaining thought processes, concepts, and technical advances in enough detail to bring clarity, but not too much to drag down the exciting findings and emotional ups and downs of the impact the research has on the researchers, patients, and patients' families (as well as the greater world out there). The book explains the advances from using PET scanning to fMRI to further technologies, as well as some other approaches used by Owen's contemporaries (EEG, for example) to delve into the locked-in mind, its thoughts and emotions, its capacity to feel, understand, and respond. There are many important counterpoints to the interpretations of the findings of researchers like Owen, and the book does a very good job of addressing the main ones. In this sense, even the lay audience can get a real feel of what real science is, that scientists, though they have to sound sure of findings and meanings of those findings to secure funding and to force advances based on findings, are not and should not be overconfident, should always welcome counter arguments to their own interpretations, should seek to collaborate with others, should use new technologies all the time to try to expand their own horizons, should question their own personal and professional motives. Often, the public thinks that scientists are either people who think they know everything or people who waste money to find out things that make little difference; this book is a testament that neither of those beliefs are true for many scientists. The book describes milestones in Owen's research: first being able to detect a change in the brain activity of "vegetative" patients, then trying to prove that some brain activity is not just an automatic response form the brain, but a genuine sign of "mental doing," and then trying to use this knowledge to try to communicate with locked-in patients who have no other means of meaningfully communicating with the outside world. Though the book concentrates on Owen's research by discussing some milestone cases (individuals who suffered brain injury and were living in vegetative or minimally responsive states when Owen and his team used their scanning protocols to try to understand if these individuals had any level of brain activity, response to outside cues, etc.), it delves into much bigger issues, like what it means to be conscious, how consciousness can be measured, what is the difference between reporting vs. being conscious, how is our definition of consciousness biased by our own understanding of ourselves and others, what is the link between consciousness and language, theory of mind, etc. Overall, Into The Gray Zone is an excellent read that explores the capacities of the human brain, its resilience, and the scientific research that tries to understand these aspects of our existence. Also recommended for those who like imaging technology, playing tennis, and Hitchcock films.