10 May, 2021

Muddula Oblongata

What happens when those little grey cells act up?

Muddula Oblongata
Freud once said that the three great revolutions in human thought had all humiliated man. Copernicus denied him his centrality in the universe. Darwin denied him his primacy as a species, making of him a successive naked ape with an opposable thumb. Freud (yes, Sigmund was modest) left him feeling that even his control over himself was a facade, an illusion, a post-facto pretence.

So what happens when you work neuroscience? When you read of the man who mistook his wife for a hat? Or the artist who lost all sense of colour and could only eat food that was black and white because everything looked grey? Or the woman who forgot how her body moved in space? Those who have followed the works of Oliver Sacks will recognise the case studies from The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat and An Anthropologist from Mars. They will remember the fear they felt at all the things that can go wrong. One moment of carelessness, one stray automobile and your life is changed irrevocably. Once your brain changes, you change. How you change depends on which parts of the brain have been affected....

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