武漢過目不忘女子只有半個大腦

http://www.mingpaonews.com/20071018/gzm3.htm

武漢一女子近日因感身體不適看醫生,醫生檢查發現,其頭部只有半個大腦。但該女子記憶力超群,電話號碼、人名地名,可以過目不忘,而且讀書生活等都很正常。

《武漢晚報》報道,前日上午11時許,一名39歲女子在母親陪同下參加當地的一場大型義診活動,來到神經內科診室。據悉,該女子出生時難產,但其後讀書生活正常。近來,她感覺四肢僵直,走路無力。通過醫療設備檢查,令醫生驚訝的是,她左半邊大腦基本缺失。但該女子言談交流又毫無問題。

其母稱,女兒不僅智力不低,而且記憶力超群。此前,女兒曾在一家百貨公司打工,不用看帳本,每一筆帳目都記得清清楚楚。

神經科醫生表示,不排除該女子出生時發生顱內出血,腦組織吸收液化形成空洞。該醫生認為,人腦組織的可塑性十分強大,尤其在幼年時期,幾乎可以重建缺失的大腦功能。

Man with virtually no memory

From http://scienceblogs.com/neurophilosophy/2007/09/life_without_memory.php

YouTube video of Clive Wearing who has anterograde amnesia, and incapable of forming new memories. He also has retrograde amnesia with nearly all his past episodic memories wiped out. An infection damaged his hippocampus, + frontal and temporal lobes. He is left mainly with just his consciousness of his own existence.

Sack’s article:

http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2007/09/24/070924fa_fact_sacks

amusia has a genetic component

Nature 434, 312 – 315 (17 March 2005); doi:10.1038/434312a

ROBERT ZATORRE

lesions of certain auditory cortical regions result in an unusual phenomenon: a highly selective problem with perceiving and interpreting music, termed ‘amusia’

People with this type of damage have no problem speaking or understanding speech, or making sense of everyday sounds. But they cannot notice wrong notes inserted into tunes, or recognize even the most familiar melody. Even more surprising is that a minority of otherwise normal individuals appear to be born with the same inability to recognize tunes. In some cases, the deficit seems to run in families, suggesting a genetic component.

insula – additction centre of the brain?

Brain’s ‘addiction centre’

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/6298557.stm

The discovery of individuals with brain damage who give up smoking with ease could point the way to a surgical ‘cure’ for smoking, US scientists say. The particular brain area damaged – called the insula – appears to be central to the urge to smoke, a team told the journal Science.

The insula receives information from other parts of the body and is thought to help translate those signals into something that is subjectively felt, such as hunger, pain, or a craving. Dr Bechara’s team studied 69 brain-damaged smokers – 19 who had suffered insula injury.

Normal man with tiny compressed brain

A man with an unusually tiny brain managed to live an entirely normal life despite his condition, caused by a fluid buildup in his skull, French researchers reported on Thursday.

Scans of the 44-year-old man’s brain showed that a huge fluid-filled chamber called a ventricle took up most of the room in his skull, leaving little more than a thin sheet of actual brain tissue.

“He was a married father of two children, and worked as a civil servant,” Dr. Lionel Feuillet and colleagues at the Universite de la Mediterranee in Marseille wrote in a letter to the Lancet medical journal.

http://today.reuters.com/news/articlenews.aspx?type=scienceNews&storyid=2007-07-20T015919Z_01_N19305100_RTRUKOC_0_US-BRAIN-TINY.xml