Features

Opening up shrinking life-worlds

Lives change dramatically as dementia progresses. Using observations of people suffering from obsessions and compulsions, I will analyse this change along three dimensions.

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is characterised by intrusive anxiety-provoking thoughts (obsessions) and rituals aimed at reducing anxiety, which then paradoxically come to exacerbate it (compulsions). I have been studying clinicians working with people who suffer from a severe, …

Features

Peripheral participants: Thinking through distortion, displacement, nullification

Warm haze

As I spoke, people looked at me worriedly. The kindness in their eyes was mixed with curiosity and concern. Rather than answering me, they turned to each other to discuss something beyond my grasp. I had aphasia and my incoherent stream of words was puzzling to the people around me. I spoke, I thought, in perfect sentences but …

Web Roundups

Web Roundup: Death, Life, and the Immortal Brain

Among the many tech-focused booths at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) early this year, one stood out in particular: an exhibition of manufactured bodies, or “sleeves,” into which someone could theoretically download their consciousness. The exhibition was a promotion for the new Netflix series Altered Carbon, a science fiction saga set 300 years in the future where individuals can …

BooksFeatures

Book Forum––Fernando Vidal and Francisco Ortega’s Being Brains: Making the Cerebral Subject

This article is part of the series:

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Fernando Vidal and Francisco Ortega’s Being Brains: Making the Cerebral Subject is a fine-grained account of the “neuro-” in a range of disciplines, and, importantly––crucially––, takes stock of the history and scope of this prefix.  But more than this the book is an exploration, a critical engagement with the surge of brain-centered approaches to behavior, to physiology, to mind, …

BooksFeatures

Book Forum––Des Fitzgerald’s Tracing Autism: Uncertainty, Ambiguity, and the Affective Labor of Neuroscience

This article is part of the series:

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Des Fitzgerald writes of his book, Tracing Autism, “This is a book about scientists talking about their own practice, in tones that are beset by ambiguity, uncertainty, complexity, and even some anxiety” (9).  This is true, and after reading the book one might find the description a little understated.  By now the idea that neuroscience, any science, is …

Web Roundups

Web Roundup: NFL Concussion Risk and our Chronic, Traumatic Entertainment

As the NFL continues to dominate headlines in both sports and politics, there was a renewed focus this month on CTE and its impact on the lives of players from youth to professional football. CTE, or Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy, is a degenerative brain disorder resulting from repeated, sub-concussive blows to the head causing the buildup of an abnormal protein called …