Estimating cognitive abilities in patients suffering from Disorders of Consciousness remains challenging. One cognitive task to address this issue is the so-called own name paradigm, in which subjects are presented with first names including the own name. In the active condition, a specific target name has to be silently counted. We recorded EEG during this task in 24 healthy controls, 8 patients suffering from Unresponsive Wakefulness Syndrome (UWS) and 7 minimally conscious (MCS) patients. EEG was analysed with respect to amplitude as well as phase modulations and connectivity. Results showed that general reactivity in the delta, theta and alpha frequency (event-related de-synchronisation, ERS/ERD, and phase locking between trials and electrodes) toward auditory stimulation was higher in controls than in patients. In controls, delta ERS and lower alpha ERD indexed the focus of attention in both conditions, late theta ERS only in the active condition. Additionally, phase locking between trials and delta phase connectivity was highest for own names in the passive and targets in the active condition. In patients, clear stimulus-specific differences could not be detected. However, MCS patients could reliably be differentiated from UWS patients based on their general event-related delta and theta increase independent of the type of stimulus. In conclusion, the EEG signature of the active own name paradigm revealed instruction-following in healthy participants. On the other hand, DOC patients did not show clear stimulus-specific processing. General reactivity toward any auditory input, however, allowed for a reliable differentiation between MCS and UWS patients.