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Essay on “An Anthropologist on Mars”

Investigating cases on behavior and neurology presents a significant number of health ideas. The brain is capable of performing tasks through a finite number of reactions and neurons in the nervous system. In light to this, I decide to go through the works of Oliver Sacks named “An Anthropologist on Mars”. I keenly study the seven cases of patients and colleagues he has highlighted about their extraordinary brains. Each case differs from the other thus depicting the issues on study. From the brain tumor victim to surgeon suffering from Tourette’s syndrome the dimension of the study broaden.

In order for one to be in a position to understand their subjects appropriately, the personality method of investigation is vital. Therefore, spending ample time with your subjects is very crucial in this field. I find “An anthropologist on Mars” fascinating since it gives amn opportunity to view peoples’ brains conditions as well as study them to the letter. The fascinating neurobiological stories explore some of the unique experiences and perceptions of oneself. The saddest thing about the study on disorders of the nervous system and the brain is that the condition of most of the patients is beyond repair. This is irrespective of the diverse scope of knowledge in the book.

The passion in me to know more about science related cases especially on first hand individuals helps me see the effectiveness of Sacks’ method of investigation. The authors method of finding ways to help patients to be fit again is fantastic. I arrive to this conclusion after reading how he has tackled cases in certain disorders facing the neuro system and the brain. These are Korsakov’s syndrome and Tourettes syndrome. Patients in these unusual disorders should be given information on how to cope to the conditions they find themselves in. this should be done without necessarily considering whether the patient’s outcome. All the professionals involved in this field should incorporate this idea into their profession to spur them to enviable success. In addition, utilizing different neurological techniques to learn each of the subjects in a respectful and personal manner is also important.

Most of those operating in this field tend to go by the results given by the clinic. However, this is not always advisable since you maybe condemning someone to a their death whereas a lot can be done to improve his condition. Having the curiosity to discover the beauty in the minds of the affected people will help you achieve this goal far much easier. All this should be done in environments that make the affected feel comfortable rather than undermined. This is through creating time for private outings with every patient you are in contact with as well making arrangements to bond with them through their activities. This enables one to learn more and figure out their problems. Being a step ahead and having better ideas on how to treat the individual under medical examination is also important. Each of the chapters in “An anthropologist on Mars” has a cast of significant characters, setting, and plot. The elements portrayed in the book weave together creating a fascinating story. The individuals undergoing examination are astonishing and how the author manages to counter the sterile account of the relative neurological functioning found in psychiatric journals is brilliant.

I am amazed by how the author describes interactions, setting and personal feelings of the subjects. This is what defines his unique approach as a prolific writer and extraordinary neuroscientist. The analysis every situation has supernatural significance. The investigations also involve cases with personal stake and distinct compassion mostly available in psychiatrist’s offices. The ability to make transform a diagnosis to a story puts him ahead of the rest in the writing field. Another of his strengths is responsibility of transforming his characters from simple brain to a human worthy story with perfection.

The people Sacks studies are both patients and subjects. This is since the cases Oliver Sacks bases his investigations on involve conditions mostly associated with the brain. The patients and subjects are suffering from different neurological conditions. Sacks believe that the patients suffer from such conditions as a result of living in a world different from the rest. The “Case of the Colorblind Painter” involves an artist who loses his color perception ability after an accident. “Would it be “normal” from the moment vision was restored? Was not experience necessary to see? Did one have to learn to see?” (Sacks 109). The author details the patient cases and uses it as one of the ways in giving an account of how the modern understanding of vision works. From this, there are lessons learnt from the inability of the artist to also remember the colors. The diseases focused on in the essays affect the ways in which individuals know and understand themselves.

“The Last Hippie” also has a similar context as connected from the current state of the patient. The author describes to a relative knowledge history concerning the brain’s frontal lobe function. This also involves some of the significant problems resulting from the damage caused on the lobes. There is a review on the looks of the different types of memories and their forms of interaction. In “A Surgeon’s Life,” the author switches to deal with the colleagues suffering from Tourette’s syndrome.

Here I notice how the piece of art manages to provide the history of the condition and also includes similar tics and symptoms. There is an emphasis on how the colleague adjusts to the people around him, and the tics causing the Tourette’s syndrome. The little information given about the lessons learnt from the condition means that the author considers the aspect of respect for his colleague and discretion compared to the one he gives to the other patients.

In the “To See and Not See” case, involves a case sight restoration to one of the patients who had suffered from blindness for a period of forty years. The author provides a few cases where this is possible and some of the reactions known to the people who experienced sight restoration. The author manages to recognize the contribution of colleagues and other people to the aspect of discussing specific mental illnesses. “The danger is that we may go overboard in medicalizing our predecessors (and contemporaries), reducing their complexity, to expressions of neurological or psychiatric disorder, while neglecting all other factors that determine a life, not least the irreducible uniqueness of the individual” (Sacks 165). This helps in understanding how such conditions affect the ways in which individuals know and understand themselves.

There is a reference specifically to some of the tendencies psychoanalysts consider connecting genius with the brain variations since it is significant to neuroscience.

While the idea works best in most of the formats, “The Landscape of His Dreams” covers cases of depression which results from temporal lobe epilepsy. This case is described in details in reflection to the painter who manages to detail his childhood town in visions and has to deal with the vital changes the town has undergone. Soaks give a very little discussion and history of temporal lobe epilepsy causes, but “Prodigies” focuses on the idea of autism. It provides a very little history on autism discovery and goes on to describe the difficult abilities people face as a result of autism.

In “Prodigies,” there is focus on the internal struggle with the thoughts of his travel companion suffering from autism. “Normally, there is a cohering and unifying power that integrates all the separate faculties of mind, integrates them, too, with our experiences and emotions, so that they take on a unique personal cast. It is this global or integrating power that allows us to generalize and reflect, to develop subjectivity and a self-conscious self” (Sacks 227). “An Anthropologist on Mars,” provides one of the significant and interesting approaches to the aspect of neurobiology. This has informed my understanding of concepts such as “normal” and “handicap.” This is through focus on the conditions that most of the people described in the context of every chapter face, and the attempts to make things right. It also includes discussion of individuals entirely.

I notice the disdain for a similar line of thought through considering patients and colleagues as a whole. However, there are no clarifications on the opinion of the topics covered in the book, but there are details of the various popular ideas over time.

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Apr 9, 2014

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