Feb 12, 2019
This episode features a neurologist with some striking tales to tell about who we become when our brains start to break. What happens when memories are gradually destroyed by Alzheimer's, when our personality is drastically transformed by dementia, or when a sudden surge of creativity is unleashed by Parkinson’s medication?
Dr Jules Montague’s new book Lost and Found integrates moving stories of her own patients with philosophical ideas about personal identity. The result is a fascinating insight into the fragile and complex workings of the brain, and a profound and compassionate reflection on the relationship between memory, personality and identity.
6:26 What does memory loss in Alzheimer’s disease mean for identity?
13:32 Why the notion of ‘embodiment’ offers a richer understanding of identity
16:10 The Extended Mind theory - how phones and pens are part of our cognitive apparatus.
18:23 How our selves are created jointly, through relationships
23:09 The dynamic and unstable nature of memory
27:34 Why personality can be radically transformed by dementia
33:26 How dopamine medication can cause a surge of creativity
42:49 Tools of the neurologists’ trades: how simple questions and reflex hammers can reveal brain damage
Jules' book Lost and Found is now available in paperback, check it out here.
Thanks to the STS department at UCL, where this episode was recorded. Check out their full range of undergraduate and postgraduate courses here: www.ucl.ac.uk/sts/
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