Help! My beloved mother has been replaced by an alien: Capgras syndrome

Imagine looking at your mother, knowing in your gut that even though she looks exactly like your mother, moves and talks in the same way your mother does and has all the same habits, she just isn’t your mother. This is someone pretending to be your mother! Or your beloved pet, a dog you have had since ... read more ...
Posted in Capgras syndrome, Cingulate gyrus, Fusiform Gyrus, Occipital lobes, Parietal lobes, Prosopagnosia, Temporal lobes, Visual cortex | Tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

The anatomy of prosopagnosia

In my last post I promised to tell you about the anatomy of prosopagnosia, or the inability to recognize familiar faces. I will begin with a short general introduction on the difficulties of investigating the anatomy of neuropsychological syndromes. Studies of individual patients have been paramount ... read more ...
Posted in Fusiform Gyrus, Prosopagnosia, Temporal lobes | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Neglect: A one-sided view of the world

The brain never ceases to impress me. In my last post I told you about blindsight. People with this condition are able to react to objects in their visual field, even though they are cortically blind (see video here of a blind man, navigating his way accurately through a cluttered hallway). People with ... read more ...
Posted in Hemispatial neglect, Parietal lobes | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Faces without meaning: Prosopagnosia

A woman in her sixties, whom I will call Elsa, sought help at my memory clinic. Detailed questioning revealed that her main problem was difficulties recognizing faces. Elsa lived in a small village and could discriminate tourists from local residents (different clothing, language etc.). She was also ... read more ...
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Blindsight: The seeing blind

Even though your eyes are neccessary for you to see, they are not sufficient. For conscious vision, you also need the visual areas at the back of your brain. People with damaged visual cortex are cortically blind, even though their eyes are intact. Look at this remarkable video below. Here you see ... read more ...
Posted in blindsight, Occipital lobes, Sensation and perception, Visual cortex | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Are bilingual brains healthier?

Being truly bilingual, that is speaking more than one language on a regular basis, has its advantages. Aside from the practical ones, such as possibly being more employable, there are other perks. Bilingualism appears to be brain-friendly. As previously discussed in this blog our experiences changes ... read more ...
Posted in Alzheimer's disease, Brain health, Brain plasticity, Language | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Hearing colors, tasting emotions, seeing sounds

The cross-wired brain When Jane looks at numbers she experiences colors. As each number has its own fixed colored overlay, this quality makes the recollection of phone numbers so much easier. John on the other hand has “colored hearing”, his hearing and visual cues gets crossed when it comes to ... read more ...
Posted in Other neurological conditions, Synesthesia | Tagged | Leave a comment

Sleep is not a waste of time!

Allan Rachtschaffen, a pioneer in sleep research, once said that if sleep did not serve a vital function then it would be the biggest evolutionary mistake ever made. He was probably right. Research for the past two decades or so has shown that a good night´s sleep is important for consolidating new ... read more ...
Posted in Hippocampus, Learning and memory | Tagged , , | Leave a comment