An anonymous reader writes "A man beaten and left for dead has recovered the power of speech thanks to the use of electrodes to stimulate brain activity. 'Experts called the results encouraging but cautioned that the experimental treatment must be tried in more patients before its value can be assessed. The researchers are already proceeding with a larger study. Before the electrodes were implanted, the man was in what doctors call a "minimally conscious state." That means he showed only occasional awareness of himself and his environment. In a coma or vegetative state, by contrast, patients show no outward signs of awareness.'"