The most amazing window on human nature

  • José M. Musacchio
Part of the Springer Praxis Books book series (PRAXIS)


Brain diseases are the most cruel natural processes, but they provide an objective view of human nature that reveals the fascinating complexity of our minds. Abnormal electrical activity of the brain can produce sensory or motor epilepsy, or affect areas that produce deep psychological and ecstatic experiences. Neuroscience provides evidence that the mind does not consist in “psychological” processes, but in physical events that take place in the brain. The disintegration of the self produced by several diseases indicates that the Cartesian idea of the self, a physical body with a soul, which was conceived as a homogeneous supernatural substance, is unjustified. The success of psychoactive drugs in treating emotional and behavioral abnormalities also shows that emotions and behavior are physical processes.


Body Image Brain Cortex Mental Image Phantom Limb Epileptic Attack 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


  1. 1.
    Jackson JH. On Epilepsies and on the After-effects of Epileptic Discharges. In: Taylor J, editor. Selected writings of John Hughlings Jackson. 1st. ed. New York: Basic Books, Inc.; 1958:135–161.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Berkeley G. Philosophical Works. 2nd ed. London: Rowman and Littlefield; 1975.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Clarke E, Jacyna LS. Nineteenth-century Origins of Neuroscientific Concepts. Berkeley: University of California Press; 1987.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Temkin O. The Falling Sickness: A History of Epilepsy from the Greeks to the Beginnings of Modern Neurology. 2 ed. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins Press; 1971.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Snyder SH. Seeking god in the brain–efforts to localize higher brain functions. N Engl J Med 2008;358(1):6–7.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Critchley M. The Divine Banquet of the Brain. New York: Raven Press; 1979.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Korein J, Musacchio JM. LSD and focal cerebral lesions. Behavioral and EEG effects in patients with sensory defects. Neurology 1968;18:147–152.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Critchley M. The parietal lobes. London: Edward Arnold & Co.; 1953.Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Ay H, Buonanno FS, Price BH, Le DA, Koroshetz WJ. Sensory alien hand syndrome: case report and review of the literature. Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery & Psychiatry 1998;65(3):366–369.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Fisher CM. Alien hand phenomena: a review with the addition of six personal cases. Canadian Journal of Neurological Sciences 2000;27(3):192–203.Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Bundick T, Jr., Spinella M. Subjective experience, involuntary movement, and posterior alien hand syndrome. Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery & Psychiatry 2000;68(1):83–85.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Goldstein K. The Organism. A holistic approach to biology. New York: American Book Company; 1939.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Nagel T. What Is It Like to Be a Bat? In: Block N, editor. Readings in Philosophy of Psychology. 1st. ed. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press; 1980:159–168.Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Sperry RW. Consciousness, personal identity, and the divided brain. In: Benson DF, Zaidel E, editors. The dual brain. New York: The Guilford Press; 1985:11–26.Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Collins G. Enduring a Disease that steals the Soul. The New York Times 1994 Oct 10.Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Sacks O. Luria and “Romantic Science”. In: Goldberg E, editor. Contemporary neuropsychology and the legacy of Luria. Institute for Research in Behavioral Neuroscience. xi, 287 pp.: 1990:181–194.Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Clark A. I am John’s Brain. Journal of Consciousness Studies 1995;2(2):144–148.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • José M. Musacchio
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PharmacologyNew York University Langone Medical CenterNew YorkUSA

Personalised recommendations