Saturday, May 28, 2005

Super Science Saturday (I) 

Does this not fall into the category of Much Is Suddenly Explained about a certain famously incoherent individual? I mean, the subject of brain damage is often invoked as the only possible explanation, but it's nice to have theoretical and experimental evidence to back it up:
(via Forbes of all places; the study is in the journal Neurophysiology)

-- Oh yeah, right!
No, it's true -- many of you don't go a day without dishing out several doses of sarcasm. But some brain-damaged people can't comprehend sarcasm, and Israeli researchers think it's because a specific brain region has gone dark...

"People with prefrontal brain damage suffer from difficulties in understanding other people's mental states, and they lack empathy," said study co-author Simone Shamay-Tsoory, a researcher at the University of Haifa. "Therefore, they can't understand what the speaker really is talking about, and get only the literal meaning."

The findings, Shamay-Tsoory said, could help rehabilitation centers do a better job of helping brain-damaged patients adjust to the world and understand other people.
Sound like anybody you know? Nice to know that once we get him into rehab, it may be possible to treat him. If of course he has insurance....

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