Yet another person without brain

#3
Interesting. Not sure of its relevance for Skeptiko, since it's not like she wasn't impaired in the way you'd expect when missing that part of the brain.

Linda
 
#6
Interesting. Not sure of its relevance for Skeptiko, since it's not like she wasn't impaired in the way you'd expect when missing that part of the brain.

Linda
Your rigour with evidence and details is very selective Linda.

From the article:

Although it is not unheard of to have part of your brain missing, either congenitally or from surgery, the woman joins an elite club of just nine people who are known to have lived without their entire cerebellum. A detailed description of how the disorder affects a living adult is almost non-existent, say doctors from the Chinese hospital, because most people with the condition die at a young age and the problem is only discovered on autopsy (Brain, doi.org/vh7).

The cerebellum's main job is to control voluntary movements and balance, and it is also thought to be involved in our ability to learn specific motor actions and speak. Problems in the cerebellum can lead to severe mental impairment, movement disorders, epilepsy or a potentially fatal build-up of fluid in the brain. However, in this woman, the missing cerebellum resulted in only mild to moderate motor deficiency, and mild speech problems such as slightly slurred pronunciation. Her doctors describe these effects as "less than would be expected", and say her case highlights the remarkable plasticity of the brain.

"These rare cases are interesting to understand how the brain circuitry works and compensates for missing parts," says Mario Manto, who researches cerebellar disorders at the Free University of Brussels in Belgium. The patient's doctors suggest that normal cerebellar function may have been taken over by the cortex – brain scans should reveal the answer.
Seems pretty clear we're not sure exactly what to expect here.
 
#10
Seems pretty clear we're not sure exactly what to expect here.
Maybe not exactly, but we have a pretty good idea. We know what the cerebellum does. And there are lots of conditions which result in impairment of the cerebellum (including removal because of a tumor), which show us what to expect when there is substantial to complete loss of function.

Congenital agenesis (complete absence) is rare, but it's not necessarily fatal nor does it necessarily involve much impairment. The first case described was of a 76 year old man who was claimed to have no impairment (but on a more detailed review, did show impairment). Partial or complete absence of the cerebellum can be associated more commonly with other congenital conditions. How well these children do tends to depend upon the associated abnormalities (like whether or not there is hydrocephalus).

As usual, a throwaway line in a lay article gives a misleading impression. And it's in their best interest to over sensationalize it.

Linda
 
Last edited:
#11
Maybe not exactly, but we have a pretty good idea. We know what the cerebellum does. And there are lots of conditions which result in impairment of the cerebellum (including removal because of a tumor), which show us what to expect when there is substantial to complete loss of function.

Linda
"Problems in the cerebellum can lead to severe mental impairment, movement disorders, epilepsy or a potentially fatal build-up of fluid in the brain. However, in this woman, the missing cerebellum resulted in only mild to moderate motor deficiency, and mild speech problems such as slightly slurred pronunciation."
 
#12
All of which has nothing to do with any topic held to be true by psi proponents as Linda pointed out, unless Sbu was implicating something through the miss leading title.
 
#14
Apologies. I said it should be clear from the article that this wasn't a case for Skeptiko's mind/=brain position. But I wasn't reading it as a lay-person. I can see now that people could have been misled into thinking that it was.

Linda
 
#15
We know what the cerebellum does.
Linda
Apparently not (exactly). If the cortex can take over and provide the same function, that sort of negates the "special role" of the cerebellum. If the brain is as "remarkably plastic" as the article implies and the science of tomorrow can harness that plasticity, one can almost imagine a cerebellum becoming only a bit more valuable than an appendix. Maybe the same could be said for other areas of the brain. Add to all that, we have no idea how consciousness is produced by the brain (or even transmitted/filtered by the brain for the proponent view!), I think the statement, "We know what the _______ does" (fill in the blank) is, once again, lacking in rigor.

Either way, since we often talk about how the brain does, or does not, work on here, I think it's valid to Skeptiko.
 
Last edited:
#16
Apologies. I said it should be clear from the article that this wasn't a case for Skeptiko's mind/=brain position. But I wasn't reading it as a lay-person. I can see now that people could have been misled into thinking that it was.

Linda
Wait, I'm confused. You're going to have to explain to me how saying something contrary to the doctors who are actually studying this phenomena can fall under the umbrella of " not reading it as a lay person ".

I don't think people were misconstrued that you " read it as a lay person ". I think people were insinuating that you were dishonestly reporting the expectations of the phenomena.
 
#17
How can a doctor read something in the manner of a layperson. Does she have two heads ? I think she does

Which one is the neurologist ??
 
Last edited:
#18
Apparently not (exactly). If the cortex can take over and provide the same function,..
But it obviously doesn't, since she had the expected impairments. The only comment was that it was not as severe as the doctors expected. But like I mentioned, the first case reported of this condition also noted only mild impairment (maybe even less than hers - I'd have to look through it again). There may have been a misunderstanding about the fatality of this condition, as the quote from the case report in the first link is that it is rare to diagnose this in a living person. But that refers to it being rare, and that prior to imaging studies, there wouldn't be a way to discover the actual disorder except as an incidental finding on autopsy.

http://europepmc.org/abstract/MED/10210881
http://brain.oxfordjournals.org/content/133/3/652.full

It does also give us some more information on plasticity. Although, there are other congenital conditions which are far more common that are probably more useful in that regard. Even so, it's hard to make mind/=brain out of it (once you go beyond the lay press as an information source).

Linda
 
#19
But it obviously doesn't, since she had the expected impairments. The only comment was that it was not as severe as the doctors expected. But like I mentioned, the first case reported of this condition also noted only mild impairment (maybe even less than hers - I'd have to look through it again). There may have been a misunderstanding about the fatality of this condition, as the quote from the case report in the first link is that it is rare to diagnose this in a living person. But that refers to it being rare, and that prior to imaging studies, there wouldn't be a way to discover the actual disorder except as an incidental finding on autopsy.

http://europepmc.org/abstract/MED/10210881
http://brain.oxfordjournals.org/content/133/3/652.full

It does also give us some more information on plasticity. Although, there are other congenital conditions which are far more common that are probably more useful in that regard. Even so, it's hard to make mind/=brain out of it (once you go beyond the lay press as an information source).

Linda
So you're saying that degree of severity is not a property of conditions?
 
Top