"All the World's a Stage We Pass Through" R. Ayana

Monday, 30 July 2007

An empty head, but a life lived to the full

An empty head, but a life lived to the full
A No-Brainer 

French doctors are puzzling over the case of a 44-year-old public servant who has led a quite normal life - with virtually no brain.In a case published in The Lancet, doctors led by Lionel Feuillet, of the Timone Hospital in Marseilles, said the father of two had been admitted to hospital after suffering mild weakness in his left leg.
        Scans showed that his cerebral cavities, called ventricles, had expanded hugely.
       "The brain itself, meaning the grey matter and white matter, was completely crushed against the sides of the skull," Dr Feuillet said.
       "The images were most unusual … the brain was virtually absent."
       The patient's medical history showed that at the age of six months he suffered hydrocephalus, also called water on the brain, and needed an operation to drain the dangerous build-up of spinal fluid.
        Neuropsychological testing revealed the man had an IQ of 75, with a verbal IQ of 84 and performance IQ of 70. Most people have a minimum IQ of 85, although the benchmark and the way it is measured are sometimes contested.
          "The man has been able to lead a life that can be considered normal," Dr Feuillet said.  "Even if he has a slight intellectual handicap, this has not hampered his development or building social networks."
      Max Muenke, a pediatric brain defect specialist at the US National Human Genome Research Institute, said of the findings: "What I find amazing to this day is how the brain can deal with something which you think should not be compatible with life." Dr Muenke was not involved in the case.
From Agence France-Presse, Reuters via Sydney Morning Herald

This and many other similar cases blow brain-mind theory out of the water – in case you haven’t drawn the obvious conclusion. The fact that macro-parrots have human language vocabularies of hundreds of words – superseding even the well-known language capabilities of chimpanzees – while having brains the size of a walnut is another good indication that almost everything we’re taught about the brain-mind nexus is WRONG.

The whole is greater than the sum of its parts…

- R.A.

Image - http://www.human-existence.com/images/hydrocephalus-but-no-autism.jpg

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