Monday, December 13, 2010
Monday, August 30, 2010
ABSTRACT: A NEUROLOGIST’S NOTEBOOK about prosopagnosia, or the inability to recognize faces and places. Writer describes his own difficulties recognizing and remembering faces. He also has the same difficulty with places and often becomes lost when he strays from familiar routes. At the age of seventy-seven, despite a lifetime of trying to compensate, he has no less trouble with faces and places than when he was younger. He is particularly thrown when seeing a person out of context, even if he was with that person five minutes before. Writer gives several examples of his inability to recognize familiar people out of context, including his therapist and his assistant. After learning that his brother suffered from the same problem, the writer came to believe that they both had a specific trait, a so-called prosopagnosia, probably with a distinctive genetic basis. Mentions several other people who have the same trait, including Jane Goodall and the artist Chuck Close. Face recognition is crucially important for humans, and the vast majority of us are able to identify thousands of faces individually, or to easily pick out familiar faces in a crowd. People with prosopagnosia need to be resourceful, inventive in finding strategies for circumventing their deficits: recognizing people by an unusual nose or beard, or by their spectacles, or a certain type of clothing. Describes research done on the way the brain recognizes faces. Tells about the work of Christopher Pallis, Charles Gross, Olivier Pascalis, Isabel Gauthier, and other scientists. Above all, the recognition of faces depends not only on the ability to parse the visual aspects of the face—its particular features and their over-all configuration—and compare them with others, but also on the ability to summon the memories, experiences, and feelings associated with that face. The recognition of specific places or faces goes with a particular feeling, a sense of association and meaning. Briefly discusses déjà vu and Capgras syndrome. Considers the difference between acquired prosopagnosia—through stroke or Alzheimer’s for example—and congenital prosopagnosia. Discusses the work of Ken Nakayama and Brad Duchaine, who have explored the neural basis of face and place recognition. They have also studied the psychological effects and social consequences of developmental prosopagnosia. Severe congenital prosopagnosia is estimated to affect two to two and a half per cent of the population—six to eight million people in the United States alone.
Read more http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2010/08/30/100830fa_fact_sacks#ixzz0y5e1A8DW
Monday, August 09, 2010
Friday, July 09, 2010
Friday, June 18, 2010
Sunday, June 13, 2010
Sunday, May 16, 2010
Monday, April 19, 2010
Tuesday, April 13, 2010
Monday, March 29, 2010
Sunday, March 28, 2010
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
Sunday, March 21, 2010
Friday, March 19, 2010
- Greg Eghigian (Penn State University)
- Eric J. Engstrom (Humboldt Universität)
- Andreas Killen (City College of New York)
- Benoît Majerus (Université libre de Bruxelles)
Monday, March 08, 2010
|This book published in 2007 consists of nine interviews with Freud "bashers." [Wortis, Menaker, Sulloway, Crews, Cioffi, Shorter, Esterton, Borch-Jacobsen, Israëls:] The interviewers are not very probing and mostly give the critics a chance to restate their positions. Having read most of these writers works, I didn't find much new in this book. For those who haven't read these critics, this book assumes too much familiarity with their work to serve as an introduction.|
Wednesday, February 10, 2010
Benedict Carey's article on DSMV makes particular note of the problems associated with the diagnosis of bipolar disorder in children. I found it a wonderful example of how psychiatric diagnoses are negotiated socially. What is a psychiatric diagnosis if its boundaries can be changed because of concerns about the side effects of the medications used to treat it? Here is an excerpt from the article.
One significant change would be adding a childhood disorder called temper dysregulation disorder with dysphoria, a recommendation that grew out of recent findings that many wildly aggressive, irritable children who have been given a diagnosis of bipolar disorder do not have it.
The misdiagnosis led many children to be given powerful antipsychotic drugs, which have serious side effects, including metabolic changes.
“The treatment of bipolar disorder is meds first, meds second and meds third,” said Dr. Jack McClellan, a psychiatrist at the University of Washington who is not working on the manual. “Whereas if these kids have a behavior disorder, then behavioral treatment should be considered the primary treatment.”
Some diagnoses of bipolar disorder have been in children as young as 2, and there have been widespread reports that doctors promoting the diagnosis received consulting and speaking fees from the makers of the drugs.
In a conference call on Tuesday, Dr. David Shaffer, a child psychiatrist at Columbia, said he and his colleagues on the panel working on the manual “wanted to come up with a diagnosis that captures the behavioral disturbance and mood upset, and hope the people contemplating a diagnosis of bipolar for these patients would think again.