Altered Egos: How the Brain Creates the Self by Todd E. Feinberg

By Todd E. Feinberg

It can be the private secret of philosophy, psychology, and neuroscience: how does the mind unite to create the self, the subjective "I"? In Altered Egos, Dr. Todd Feinberg provides a brand new idea of the self, according to his first-hand adventure as either a psychiatrist and neurologist. Feinberg first introduces the reader to dozens of fascinating instances of sufferers whose problems have led to what he calls "altered egos": a metamorphosis within the mind that transforms the bounds of the self. He describes sufferers who are suffering from "alien hand syndrome" the place one hand could assault the patient's personal throat, sufferers with frontal lobe harm who invent terrific tales approximately their lives, paralyzed sufferers who reject and disown one in every of their limbs. Feinberg argues that the mind harm suffered via those humans has performed greater than easily impair yes functions--it has fragmented their feel of self. After illustrating how those sufferers offer a window into the self and the brain, the writer provides a brand new version of the self that hyperlinks the workings of the mind with specific and private positive aspects of the brain, reminiscent of which means, goal, and being. Drawing on his personal and different proof, Feinberg explains how the unified self, whereas no longer situated in a single or one other mind sector, arises out of the spectacular complexity and variety of the brain's part elements. Lucid, insightful, full of interesting case reviews and provocative new rules, Altered Egos delivers to alter the way in which we expect approximately human recognition and the production and upkeep of human id.

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You are absolutely certain there's no weakness over there? Could you tell me why you won't touch your nose with your left hand? Is there a reason for that? PATSY: Because I think I'm a comedian . . and I'd probably make an obscene gesture. ] FEINBERG: What's wrong with you? PATSY: / had a slight stroke. FEINBERG: Oh . . really? ] Has she been admitting that more readily? PATSY: Do they have an AA for stroke patients? FEINBERG: I'm sorry. PATSY: Do they have an AA for stroke patients? Yeah. Where they have to admit they had strokes.

His hospitalization was uneventful, and he survived the entire episode with no obvious neurological effects. Upon returning to his much-loved apartment, he was dismayed to find that it had been substituted for another nearly identical apartment. In other words, he was convinced that he had two apartments at the same exact address. " When I asked him how two apartments nearly identical could be located at the same address, he calmly reported, "I have not had the opportunity to discuss it with the super(intendent) or any other official .

There was no hint of agitation or confusion. He spoke in a clear and confident voice, and his behavior gave no hint of the fact that he suffered from profound neuropsychological impairments, especially in the areas of memory and frontal lobe functions such as organization, mental flexibility, and self-monitoring. Bart made a total of thirteen misidentifications during his hospital stay. In his mind, the hospital was populated with family, friends, and coworkers. There were five misidentifications in which Bart claimed that persons barely known to him on the hospital unit were one of his sons or daughters-in-law.

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