History Evolution and Timeline

A brief timeline of important milestones in the development of CASBI: 


Publication from large multi-center collaboration including many of the teams organized under the James S. McDonnell Foundation Large Project grant “Collaborative study of recovery of consciousness after severe brain injury”. This pioneering study demonstrates a robust and reliable measurement linked to conscious awareness in resting states for patients undergoing functional magnetic resonance imaging. The study is the first to show cross-center consistency of any measure in over 100 patients.

Science Advances Article


First practice guidelines including minimally conscious state jointly endorsed by the American Academy of Neurology, American Congress for Rehabilitation Medicine, National Institute for Disability and Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research. Dr Schiff served as section leader for prognosis and is a principal author of the guidelines; Dr. Fins and Dr. James Bernat wrote the accompanying ethics and policy overview for the publication of the guidelines.

Neurology Article

Neurology Article

Neurology Article

First demonstration of a simple, cost-effective measurement to identify patients with hidden cognition and cognitive motor dissociation.

Current Biology Article


Demonstration of longitudinal changes in brain structure and function associated with partial restoration of a communication channel over several years. These findings confirm and extend the discoveries of Voss et al. 2006

Science Translational Medicine Article

Journal of Neurophysiology Article


This editorial defines a new categorical term for patients who demonstrate covert cognition using functional magnetic resonance imaging or electrophysiological techniques and related methods but show no or little signs of awareness. The term “cognitive motor dissociation” or “CMD” has now been widely used in the published literature.

JAMA Neurology Article


First study to demonstrate evidence for change across cerebral metabolism consistent with the mesocircuit hypothesis in patients with varying etiologies of injury.

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Abstract

Weill Cornell Medical College Press Release


Publication of landmark paper addressing the experiences of surrogates as decision makers for patients with disorders of consciousness, a major focus of the Ethics Policy Center.

Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Abstract

Publication of first study to identify physiological evidence underlying paradoxical response to zolpidem in severely brain injured subjects and link to an underlying mesocircuit mechanism.

eLife Sciences Article

eLife Editorial

Time Article


First demonstration of use of quantitative electroencephalography to assess cognitive function through motor imagery in subjects with severe brain injury.

Clinical Neurophysiology Article

The Lancet Abstract (2012)

The Lancet Article (2013)


Publication of the mesocircuit model for recovery of consciousness after severe brain injury.

Trends in Neurosciences Article


Landmark study and first demonstration that central thalamic deep brain stimulation could restore consistent communication and improve cognition in chronic minimally conscious state following severe traumatic brain injury, in a subject tested six years after injury.

Nature Abstract

New York Times Article 


First demonstration of structural brain changes in late recovery from minimally conscious state.

Journal of Clinical Investigation Article

New York Times Article


Publication of the first demonstration that language response networks consistent with those found in healthy control subjects could be identified in minimally conscious state after severe traumatic brain injury.

Neurology Abstract

New York Times Article 


Publication of landmark paper on neuroethics of imaging and novel interventions with deep brain stimulation in severely brain injured subjects

Nature Reviews Neuroscience Abstract


Publication of case series of residual cerebral function in chronically vegetative patients demonstrating evidence for isolated cerebral functional systems remaining in setting of very severe structural brain injuries

Brain Abstract


Publication of  “Words without mind,” first example of preserved cerebral network and single word production in setting of chronic vegetative state

Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience Abstract


Beginning of Fins and Schiff collaboration, submission of first US patent on central thalamic deep brain stimulation (DBS) for cognitive impairment

See Patent

Weill Cornell Medicine Consortium for the Advanced Study of Brain Injury 520 East 70th Street New York, NY