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.”
Research Confirms Intention Affects Structure of Water Pt. 2
An exciting new study by a leading research institute suggests that mental intention can not only change the structure of water but may even help stem cells to grow. The study provides fascinating results with profound implications.
The Institute of Noetic Sciences (IONS) is a leader in the field of exploring mind-matter interactions. Its latest study is the culmination of a number of other experiments, all suggesting that the act of making an intention on water produces a measurable response.
Dr. Dean Radin is the chief scientist at IONS who led the study.
“In this experiment, as in previous studies, we asked three Buddhist monks in a temple in Taiwan, to focus their attention towards samples of water, with the intention that stem cells grown with that water as part of the growth medium would proliferate more,” Radin said. “And then we had control water — same company, same source — that was not part of the experiment which we set aside as a control. So then the water was used in a double-blind fashion by a technician who was growing the stem cells, to create growth media that these stem cells were put into. Then they simply measured, over three days, how much were the stem cells growing, and they also took other measures that are genetic expression factors showing the health of the stem cells.”
Researchers were astounded by the results.
“What we found was significant evidence that the stem cells proliferated more, (and) that the genes that were expressed were in alignment with the idea that they were actually healthier stem cells.”