Patient-ventilator synchrony is a popular topic of research on mechanical ventilation. This review puts this research into both contemporary and historical perspective. Five areas of research are described: literature reviews, manual detection of synchrony problems, automated detection of synchrony problems, modes for improving synchrony, and effects of sedation. We note that this type of research lacks a standardized vocabulary and associated taxonomy, which generates difficulty in communication among students and researchers, as well as in comparison of results. Hence, we conclude this paper with some suggestions for improvement in that regard.