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Author Topic: Can a head injury make someone more intelligent?  (Read 2294 times)

Lhai

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Can a head injury make someone more intelligent?
« on: 02/09/2008 17:54:33 »
Lhai asked the Naked Scientists:

Can a man be turned into a genius in some cases if one time his head was knocked with something hard?

What do you think?


 

Offline chris

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Can a head injury make someone more intelligent?
« Reply #1 on: 06/09/2008 16:11:33 »
Well it can certainly affect behaviour. There are a number of documented cases of individuals changing their characters quite dramatically in the aftermath of brain injury caused either through trauma, chemical, degenerative or vascular insults.

The most famous case was of railway worker Phineas Gage. A tamping iron used to press homes explosives was driven through the front part of his brain when a charge he was securing detonated prematurely. He survived but became severely "frontal" in the aftermath, showing wild mood swings, impulsive, disinhibited behaviour and a tendency to gamble.

Amongst other patients brain injuries have sometimes disclosed latent talents for music, art or poetry. In these circumstances neuroscientists have put this down to a form of "disinhibition". Damage to a brain region that normally holds another in check effectively gives the downstream area a free rein, sometimes with creative results. Unfortunately the flip side of the coin is that patients like this are also often likely to use colourful language and adopt other socially less-acceptable behaviours.

So, yes, you could argue that a head injury could turn someone into a genius in one respect - but it's likely to come at a cost.

Chris
 

Offline RD

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Offline Don_1

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Can a head injury make someone more intelligent?
« Reply #3 on: 09/09/2008 11:06:04 »
In my case I doubt it would make matters any worse!!!
 

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Can a head injury make someone more intelligent?
« Reply #3 on: 09/09/2008 11:06:04 »

 

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