Woman Missing Large Part of Brain Ranks 98th Percentile in Speech
A recent study sheds light on the remarkable case of a woman who grew up without a key part of her brain and was barely affected by it.
In the endless search to understand the workings of the human mind, scientists take special interest in cases of the most unique brains. The most recent and fascinating is that of a woman known as EG (to protect her privacy.)
Now in her fifties, EG first learned her brain was atypical in her twenties when she had it scanned for an unrelated reason. She was told then that she had been missing her left temporal lobe from infancy, which was most likely the result of an early stroke. This part of the brain is thought to be involved with language processing, which makes EG’s story so extraordinary.
Despite being repeatedly told by doctors that she should have major cognitive deficits and neurological issues, EG has a graduate degree, has enjoyed an impressive career, and speaks Russian as a second language.
Several years ago, EG met Dr. Evelina Fedorenko, a cognitive neuroscientist at M.I.T. who studies language. Fedorenko was immediately fascinated by EG’s case and conducted a number of studies, the first of which was recently published in the journal Psychologia.
As part of the study, EG took a vocabulary test and scored in the 98th percentile. Brain imaging revealed that, in the absence of EG’s left temporal lobe, the task of language processing seems to have shifted over to her right hemisphere.
Ella Striem-Amit, a cognitive neuroscientist at Georgetown University told WIRED, “The remarkable thing about this patient and other such patients who were missing large chunks of their language system at birth, is how well they compensate.”
For EG, the study has been a welcome validation, after decades of being made to feel defective.
As she wrote in the published paper: “Please do not call my brain abnormal, my brain is atypical. If not for accidentally finding these differences, no one would pick me out of a crowd as likely to have these, or any other differences, that make me unique.”
Fedorenko’s team plans to conduct several more studies on EG and expects to come away with an even richer understanding of the brain’s seemingly limitless potential for flexibility and adaptation.
EG said she hopes, “it will also take some stigma away from atypical brains.”
Brainwave Scans Show Profound Results in Intention Experiment
Just how powerful are our thoughts? Renowned researcher, Lynne McTaggart’s work shows that the power of setting intention to heal is limitless, especially when done with others.
McTaggart has been at the forefront of researching and facilitating group intention-setting for decades. Her large-scale, global intention experiments have shown the dramatic power of thoughts to affect reality and promote healing.
Since 2008, the same effect has been seen in her Power of Eight groups, in which people send and receive healing intentions.
“Working like this in a group, whether they’re a sender or receiver, can have pretty much every aspect of their life healed,” McTaggart said. “So we’ve had extraordinary healings, everything from people getting up out of their wheelchair, to reversing stage 4 cancer, to healing life-threatening sepsis. We’ve also had people fall in love; we’ve had people where they’ve needed hundreds of thousands of dollars receive that; people who needed $2,000 dollars receive that; we’ve had people get new careers, exciting careers.”
Vietnam veteran Wes Chapman is one of the thousands of people who have experienced profound healing in a Power of Eight group. Having suffered from major depression for many years following his service, Chapman had virtually given up on life when he came across one of McTaggart’s workshops and took part in a group healing.
“I felt the energy running through our hands, I felt the vibrations in the room change, I felt a very special atmosphere was being created. The next morning when I woke up, it was an amazing thing. The first thing I felt was this energy, it was like the wheels are moving, I can do what I need to do, and do it happily,” Chapman said.