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- KurzbeschreibungThe dramatic story of one man's recovery offers new hope to those suffering from concussions and other brain traumas<br>In 1999, Clark Elliott suffered a concussion when his car was rear-ended. Overnight his life changed from that of a rising professor with a research career in artificial intelligence to a humbled man struggling to get through a single day. At times he couldn't walk across a room, or even name his five children. Doctors told him he would never fully recover. After eight years, the cognitive demands of his job, and of being a single parent, finally became more than he could manage. As a result of one final effort to recover, he crossed paths with two brilliant Chicago-area research-clinicians-one an optometrist emphasizing neurodevelopmental techniques, the other a cognitive psychologist-working on the leading edge of brain plasticity. Within weeks the ghost of who he had been started to re-emerge.<br>Remarkably, Elliott kept detailed notes throughout his experience, from the moment of impact to the final stages of his recovery, astounding documentation that is the basis of this fascinating book. The Ghost in My Brain gives hope to the millions who suffer from head injuries each year, and provides a unique and informative window into the world's most complex computational device: the human brain.<br>
- AutorClark Elliott
- VerlagPenguin Putnam Inc
- FormatGebundene Ausgabe
- Seiten336 Seiten
- Gewicht608 g
- Leseprobe<br>FOREWORD<br>Clark Elliott was a mystery to me when we first met. Observing him through my glass front door, I saw that it took him two minutes just to find the doorknob with his hand. When I gave him the simplest of my assessment tests-copying a geometric line drawing-his body went into bizarre contortions as he struggled to complete it. It hurt me to watch this brilliant man put so much effort into such a trivial task. In my decades-long practice in clinically applied neuroscience (CAN), this case was striking. During the two-hour evaluation session, I kept asking myself, "What could have happened in the car accident eight years ago that all of these top medical doctors have missed?" In thinking over my plan for rewiring his brain, I realized that most of Clark's cognitive and motor behaviors were likely tied to stress on his visual systems, and I wanted him to work in parallel with my highly esteemed colleague the optometrist Deborah Zelinsky, whom he went to see the following week.<br>Clark was an ideal client. He understood the complexity of the brain and the relationship between sensory input and behavior. And he was compliant, faithfully completing the rigorous cognitive exercises that I created for him-the brain puzzles he was to solve on a daily basis. Most important, he carefully documented his behavioral changes so that I could move him quickly through the exercises that would allow him to regain control of his personal and professional life.<br>Clark's story is remarkable. Through his scrupulously documented recovery, he gives a voice and provides hope to millions of people, referred to as the walking wounded , with mild to moderate traumatic brain injury. The plasticity of the human brain is both its power and its weakness. Although the life-sustaining parts of the human brain are "hardwired," the cognitive parts (located in the neocortex) are not. The part of the brain that allows people to think, to plan, to hope, to dream, to understand language and math, and to recognize themselves and others, is highly malleable.<br>This plasticity allows people to change their minds and to control their behavior, but it is also this part that suffers the greatest loss from brain injury. Much to the frustration of doctors and patients alike, cellular damage is microscopic and may be diffuse throughout the brain so that conventional scanning technologies cannot detect it.<br>By the time high-functioning individuals with post-traumatic head injury notice that their memories are not what they used to be, or that they have difficulty thinking through a problem they could once have easily solved, massive brain damage has occurred on a microscopic level
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