Michael Schumacher communicates through his eyes and cries when he hears his wife and children's voices, it has been claimed.
The former F1 driver emerged from his coma in June and has been living in his family home in Switzerland since September after suffering a serious brain injury in a skiing accident 13 months ago.
The seven-time Formula One champion turns 46 today and according to reports in Italy, he is capable of demonstrating emotion through tears.
Newspaper Corriere della Serra reports: "Sometimes a tear rolls down Michael's face. He cries when he hears the voice of his children or his wife.
"Michael has his eyes open but he is often looking into a void. In recent times he has been able to recognise the familiar faces of his family but he cannot communicate with them.
"He does not speak and he is not able to perform movements independently. He reacts to external stimuli but for now can only answer a familiar voice by opening his eyes."
And the seven-time world champion is now able to sit up, according to Autosprint magazine.
Editor-in-chief, Alberto Sabbatini, said: "The good news is that Michael is not stuck in a bed. When not undergoing physical therapy to avoid muscle atrophy, he sits in a chair in front of the windows of his villa, overlooking on one side the snowy peaks of the Swiss Alps, and on the other the shores of Lake Geneva."
Schumacher's world changed for ever on December 29, 2013.
The German was skiing at the Meribel resort in the French Alps when, having helped a fallen family friend according to his manager Sabine Kehm, he fell himself and hit his head against a rock.
He was airlifted first to a hospital in nearby Moutiers and then on to Grenoble, and the early signs were promising.
Gerningon Christophe-Lecomte, the director of the Meribel resort, was quoted by Radio Monte Carlo Sport as saying he was "shaken but conscious" after the accident.
"It may be a head injury but it is not very serious," Lecomte said on mcsport.bfmtv.com. Sadly, those words were to be some way from the truth.
Within hours Schumacher's condition was described as "critical" and University Hospital of Grenoble spokesman Jean-Marc Grenier, said the 91-time grand prix winner was in a medically-induced coma.
He came out of the coma in June but faces a "long, hard, road to recovery".