Is it just me or does the current state of neuroscience seem completely reliant on severe brain injuries?
At least this is the impression left by Oliver Sacks (a famous neurologist).
The man seems to be the ringmaster of a freak show of three stooges-like victims of violence done to the head. He’s seems to be the goto guy whenever you need to find a man with a violent brain injury.
Don’t get me wrong. I like Oliver Sacks. I find the man completely charming. He’s got a delightful nasally British Elmer Fudd/Bawaba Walters style of speaking (which you can hear inbetween his heavy mouth-breathing) describing beautifully horribly mangled minds in an interesting way. He can quote Proust!
I can understand why brain malfunctions help neurologists figure out the functions of the brain.
But I can’t help thinking that his study of neurology involves just sitting around waiting for the next guy to have herpes eat his brains so he can study him.
That maybe… it would be more effective to further the study of neurology by going around slamming nails into people’s skulls rather than sitting around waiting for the next guy to get his brain electrocuted by lightening.
This proactive, go-getting, Ensure-drinking neurologist decides to take action instead of idly waiting by the telephone!
“The Mad Neurologist” they’d call him. Please consider this character for your next Halloween costume or horror novel.
I do hope, that neuroscience will get up to a point where we don’t have to wait around for the next guy to shove crayons up his nose into his brain.
Here’s where you can hear Oliver Sacks (and his mouth breathing):
Or hear him on RadioLab (where they have fantastic editing to remove the mouth breathing):