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Literature and Culture in the Age of Neuroscience
I believed in both literature’s transformative effects and the doctrine of “presuming competence” when encountering cognitive disability.
Reading is a human invention, made possible by pre-existing brain systems devoted to representing shapes, sound, and speech.
I feel most people take their senses for granted and think they already know everything about them, we rarely appreciate their complexity.
The “you are your brain” / “you are not your brain” debate is possible because of the paradox created by rapid advances in the neurosciences that raise more questions than answers.
The stories behind these headlines share an often-overlooked quality: They require readers to make guesses and draw conclusions about other people's intentions.
We talk about our inner lives. We wonder what would happen if people could see into our minds. Consciousness, we imagine, is to be found somewhere inside us.
A nonspeaking young man dreams of autistic civil rights: "Inclusion should not be a lottery."
Personal stories need to be part of medical education, to have real human context to balance the hard clinical aspects of health care. That’s especially true with mental illness.
"My book comes from the point of view of someone who lives this – not a therapist or researcher, but someone inside the experience. Someone on the team."
These writers portray fantasies of finding the ethereal self in physical brains–by dissecting brains, holding them, prodding, examining, or eating them.
Why was an autistic child tackled by a police officer in a park? How might autistic autobiographers help prevent incidents like this?
Jason Tougaw is the author of The Elusive Brain: Literary Experiments in the Age of Neuroscience (Yale UP) and The One You Get: Portrait of a Family Organism (Dzanc Books).