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

By Todd E. Feinberg

It can be the inner most secret of philosophy, psychology, and neuroscience: how does the mind unite to create the self, the subjective "I"? In Altered Egos, Dr. Todd Feinberg offers a brand new idea of the self, in accordance with his first-hand adventure as either a psychiatrist and neurologist. Feinberg first introduces the reader to dozens of fascinating instances of sufferers whose issues have led to what he calls "altered egos": a metamorphosis within the mind that transforms the limits of the self. He describes sufferers who are suffering from "alien hand syndrome" the place one hand may well assault the patient's personal throat, sufferers with frontal lobe harm who invent excellent tales approximately their lives, paralyzed sufferers who reject and disown certainly one of their limbs. Feinberg argues that the mind harm suffered by way of those humans has performed greater than easily impair yes functions--it has fragmented their experience of self. After illustrating how those sufferers supply 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 detailed and private gains of the brain, corresponding to which means, goal, and being. Drawing on his personal and different facts, Feinberg explains how the unified self, whereas no longer positioned in a single or one other mind sector, arises out of the mind-blowing complexity and variety of the brain's part components. Lucid, insightful, choked with attention-grabbing case stories and provocative new principles, Altered Egos delivers to alter the way in which we predict approximately human realization and the construction and upkeep of human identification.

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Extra info for Altered Egos: How the Brain Creates the Self

Sample text

I thought she worked for her. But the two girls named Betty. I mean it just . . FEINBERG: So there were two . . EMMA: Two girls both named Betty. The two "Bettys" were similar in most respects, except the "other" version of Betty wasn't as tall as the original, didn't wear glasses, and had shorter hair than the real Betty. The other Betty had cooked for her and took her on trips, while the real Betty wasn't around. On one of these outings, Emma reported she had bought two hats, one for the daughter Betty and one for the other Betty.

JACK: Yeah. FEINBERG: OK. JACK: My mother's in the hospital right now. FEINBERG: Your mother is? JACK: Yeah. FEINBERG: What's wrong with her? JACK: She had a stroke while she was in the hospital. 22 Deconstructing the Self FEINBERG: She was in the hospital also? JACK: Yeah. FEINBERG: What's this? ] JACK: My mother-in-law's hand. Someone's hand. I think it's my motherin-law's hand. " He claimed the arm moved quite well: FEINBERG: Raise your right arm please, [patient raises his right arm]. Now is your right arm on the bed or in the air?

17 Dr. Pick described a sixty-sevenyear-old woman who was admitted to hospital suffering from what at the time were called "psychopathic symptoms," which included depression, forgetfulness, delusions, disordered memory, nightmares, and disorientation for time. The memory disturbance appeared to be particularly prominent, and the patient demonstrated lively confabulation.

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