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The Brain in Perspective

Posted by AlienCG on February 9, 2009

I was watching a show last night on Science Channel that dealt with mental illness.  The program went through the stories of four people who had different types of disorders that skewed their individual realities.  The disorders varied from memory loss to outright delusion.  There was a woman who saw a picture of her husband, recognized him in the picture, but did not recognize him in person.  Further, she accused him of taking her husband and being a double of him as part of a conspiracy.

There’s the man who see the world as everybody else, but does not recognize objects or people (not even a photograph of himself).  He stands in front of a bin full of bananas and asks, “where are the bananas?”  His daughter passes by, walks right next to him, sit down by him and he doesn’t know who she is until she speaks.  His disorder was caused by an auto accident and it left him with a huge gap in memory.  He recognizes pictures of his daughter from the years before his accident.  Another side effect of this disorder is that he does not form an emotional bond with anything or anyone.

There was another man whose brain filled in the gaps in memory with delusional imagery.  He saw a picture of a woman, but he saw two large, black orbs instead of her eyes.  Some people call him blind, but his eyes are functional, the part of his brain that translates visual signals is damaged.

I cannot remember the other person or his/her disorder at the moment, but the program was very fascinating.  Unfortunately, it is quite difficult to grasp the concept of what there people are going through and makes it difficult to really understand.  People with “normal” minds and brains are used to seeing things “normally.”  We have no concept of delusion or what it would be like to look at a parent, spouse or sibling and not know who they are.  What are your thoughts on this?

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9 Responses to “The Brain in Perspective”

  1. pochp said

    Problem is:
    Who’s qualified to judge if a brain or mind is normal or not?

    • AlienCG said

      Perhaps “normal” isn’t the best word to use in this field. The program that followed this one asked your same question. The answer was quite revealing, I am recording it so I can watch it over again.

      Who are you and where are you from? Your link directs me to the WordPress area to start a new blog.

  2. laura b. said

    Since perception is everything, I think we count on being able to perceive the world in the same basic way as our fellow human beings. It probably becomes not a question or right or wrong, but more an issue of ‘majority rules.’

  3. AlienCG said

    I’m not trying to define “normal” here. I am using it for lack of a better term. I’m trying to get a gauge of how people perceive this “altered reality” that the subjects described above are experiencing.

  4. pochp said

    Alien, I get all kinds of weird complaints about my site:
    pochp.wordpress. and I still can’t figure out why.

  5. churlita said

    When my daughter and I were in that horse and buggy accident where I got that concussion, I had and still have weird memory loss from it. I don’t remember much at all of the Summer preceding the accident, but especially the day of the accident, I remembered things from high school like they had happened that Summer. You may just have inspired a blog post for me. Thanks.

  6. laura b. said

    Pochp…it is because somehow when you try to link to it, it reads pohcp.wordpress, which apparently doesn’t exist, instead of pochp.wordpress. It is some kind of linking error.

  7. NoRegrets said

    The brain is fascinating. Have you ever read The Man who Mistook His Wife for a HAt? I tried but it was too technical for me at the time – I shoudl try again.

  8. Tara said

    I loved the “Abnormal Psychology” class I took in college. The whole class consisted of learning about different mental disorders. We also were assigned to watch “Fatal Attraction”, because the character in that movie was bipolar.

    It is a very fascinating topic, the brain is so complex and can cause us to react in so many different ways.

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