Names, then, he might learn, with frequent contact; and in relation to them he would recollect a few details about each new person. The comatose Karen Ann Quinlan was then very much in the news, and each time her name and fate were mentioned, Greg became distressed and silent. Music, songs, seemed to bring Greg what, apparently, he lacked, to evoke in him a depth to which he otherwise had no access. C.J. Thus one was very aware, in a hospital for chronic patients like ours, a hospital where feelings of melancholy, of rage, and of hopelessness simmer and preside, of the virtue of a patient such as Greg—who never appeared to have bad moods, who, when activated by others, was invariably cheerful, euphoric. Lacking facial hair, and childlike in manner, he seemed younger than his twenty-five years. Most of his works were CRASS-related, … hold him together completely…because they have an organic rhythm and stream, a flowing of being, which carries and holds him.” I was strongly reminded here of what I had seen with my amnesiac patient Jimmie, how he seemed held together when he attended Mass, by his relationship to and participation in an act of meaning, an organic unity, which overrode or bypassed the disconnections of his amnesia.13 And what I had observed with a patient in England, a musician with profound amnesia from a temporal lobe encephalitis, unable to remember events or facts for more than a few seconds, but able to remember, and indeed to learn, elaborate musical pieces, to conduct them, to perform them, and even to improvise at the organ.14 In Greg’s case, of course, there was not just an amnesia, but a severe frontal-lobe syndrome as well, tending to “shallow” him, to remove genuine feeling and meaning, to replace these with a sort of indifference or frivolity. In order to navigate out of this carousel please use your heading shortcut key to navigate to the next or previous heading. I could not get any consecutive history from him—he was not sure, for a start, why he was in the hospital, and gave different reasons when I asked him about this; first he said, “Because I’m not intelligent,” later, “Because I took drugs in the past.” He knew he had been at the main Hare Krishna temple (“a big red house, 439 Henry Street, in Brooklyn”), but not that he had subsequently been at their temple in New Orleans. Unable to add item to List. Episodic amnesia such as Greg’s follows destruction of these regions, not only in human beings, but in some experimental animals as well. He remembers all the founding members of the Grateful Dead, from 1967. Brief content visible, double tap to read full content. by F. Lhermitte and B. Pillon and M. Serdaru, by Endel Tulving and C.A.Gordon Hayman and Carol A. Macdonald, HarperSanFrancisco, 264 pp., $19.95 (paper), by Elkhonon Goldberg, William B. Barr, George P. Prigatano, Daniel L. Schachter, in. His father, who had had a terrible time in Greg’s stormy days, before he got “tamed” by drugs, by religion, by tumor, said to me in an unbuttoned moment, “It’s like he had a lobotomy,” and then, with great irony, “Frontal lobes—who needs ’em?”12. He remembers songs vividly from 1964 to 1968. There was an error retrieving your Wish Lists. “The only radical remedy for dipsomania,” as William James wrote, “is religiomania.” The philosophy, the fellowship, the chanting, the rituals, the austere and charismatic figure of the swami himself came like a revelation to Greg, and he became, almost immediately, a passionate devotee and convert.1 Now there was a center, a focus, to his life. Stimulated by the atmosphere, Greg started to talk spontaneously—very unusual for him—and to reminisce about the Sixties: Yeah, there were the be-ins in Central Park. His sense of there being two Connies, his segmenting Connie into two, was characteristic of the bewilderments he sometimes found himself in, his need to hypothesize additional figures because he could not retain or conceive of an identity in time. ↩, Mr. Thompson, who also had both amnesia and a frontal lobe syndrome, by contrast often seemed “desouled.” In him the wisecracking was manic, ferocious, frenetic, and relentless; it rushed on like a torrent, oblivious to tact, to decency, to propriety, to everything, including the feelings of everyone around him. Sacks tells a story of a young male who suffers from anterograde and retrograde amnesia following a midline tumor. And the Fillmore East, the famous rock-and-roll theater where Greg had also seen the group, did not survive the early 1970s. “Where did you hear that?” I asked as we listened to “Picasso Moon.”, “I can’t remember,” he said, “didn’t hear it, anything like it, at the Central Park concert.”, I had wondered whether hearing the songs, and especially hearing a tape of the concert itself, with all the sounds of coughing, clapping, singing, and background noise, would bring back the memory of Madison Square Garden. It reminded me somewhat of the vacant states I had seen with some of my post-encephalitic patients, and, as with them, went with profound damage to the diencephalon. Account & Lists Account Returns & Orders. Our payment security system encrypts your information during transmission. One could not avoid the feeling that Greg was looking for his father, even though he could give no account of what he was doing, and had no explicit knowledge of what he had lost. Some amnesiacs, like Jimmie (the Korsakov’s patient whom I described in “The Lost Mariner”6 ) have brain damage largely confined to the memory systems of the diencephalon and medial temporal lobe; others, like Mr. Thompson (described in “A Matter of Identity”7 ) are not only amnesiac, but have frontal lobe syndromes as well; yet others—like Greg, with immense tumors—tend to have a third area of damage as well, deep below the cerebral cortex, in the forebrain, or diencephalon. There was not an absolutely sharp cutoff here, but rather a temporal gradient, so that figures and events from 1966 and 1967 were fully remembered, events from 1968 or 1969 partially or occasionally remembered, and events after 1970 almost never remembered. She too did not know that she was blind, and when I held up my hand before her and asked, “How many fingers?” would answer, “A hand has five fingers, of course.” ↩, That implicit memory (especially if emotionally charged) may exist in amnesiacs was shown, somewhat cruelly, in 1911, by Edouard Claparède; who when shaking hands with such a patient whom he was presenting to his students, stuck a pin in his hand. ↩, The New York Review, February 16, 1984. I left the room briefly; I felt he needed to be alone with all this. Greg can repeat a complicated sentence with complete accuracy and understanding the moment he hears it, but within three minutes, or sooner if he is distracted for an instant, he will retain not a trace of it, or any idea of its sense, or any memory that it ever existed. They show the power of fancy at play, and, specifically, the mechanisms—displacement, condensation, “over-determination,” etc.—which Freud has shown to be characteristic of dreams. See Jerry Garcia’s Afro?” with such conviction that I was momentarily taken in, and looked (in vain) for a tombstone behind the drums—before realizing it was one of Greg’s confabulations—and at the now-gray hair of Jerry Garcia, which fell in a straight, unhindered descent to his shoulders. Dr. North, it is evident, was a man with severe anxieties, and tormenting obsessional traits, who was hated and dreaded by the fellows of the college for his punctiliousness, his moralizing, and his merciless severity. He remembers all the founding members of the Grateful Dead, from 1967. Nor did he remember that he started to have symptoms there—first and foremost a progressive loss of vision. With such an amnesia, the ability to acquire information about new facts and events is devastated—there ceases to be any explicit or conscious remembrance of these. The other Connie would conduct music groups, he said, would give out song sheets, play the piano-accordion at sing songs at school. If he was not “waiting” for them, so much the better—they could miss a day, or a few days, if they were away; he would not notice, but would be cordial as ever the next time they came. But he said, “No, I want to stay, I want it all”—an assertion, an autonomy, I rejoiced to see, and had hardly ever seen in his compliant life at the hospital. His mother remembers “Eddie, who had MS…they both loved music, they had adjacent rooms, they used to sit together,…and Judy, she had CP, she would sit for hours with him too.” Eddie died, and Judy went to a hospital in Brooklyn; there has been no one so close for many years. © 1963-2021 NYREV, Inc. All rights reserved. Specifically, it was context-bound (or “episodic”) memory which was so grossly disturbed in Greg—as is the case with most amnesiacs. It seemed to point to something stranger, and more complex, than a mere “deficit,” to point, rather, to some radical alteration within him in the very structure of knowledge, in consciousness, in identity itself.2. “How do you feel?” I returned to this again and again. Thus, left alone, Greg would spend hours in the ward without spontaneous activity. First time I was there was Flower-Power Day…. Hippie (2018) by Paulo Coelho is loosely based on his personal experiences in the 1960s and 1970s as a hippie and as an explorer seeking a greater, more esoteric knowledge. He was clearly devastated by his father’s death—he showed nothing “flip,” no levity, at this time.17 But would he have the ability to mourn? Structural adjustment policies did not want to do … It further describes his history, events that led to his condition, diagnosis and his unusual treatment. No Import Fees Deposit & $9.98 Shipping to Thailand. “It’s the least stupid smell in the world.”20. The levels of functioning. When I asked him about this, he said, “I have no choice.” And this, as he said it, seemed wise and true. Compliantly, indifferently, Greg let himself be put away in the protective environment, the backwater of Williamsbridge. They would come to visit poor, blind, blank Greg, and flock around him; they saw him as having achieved “detachment,” as an enlightened one. Whether Greg’s (at least partial) preservation of ego and identity is due to the lesser severity of his syndrome, or to underlying personality differences, is not wholly clear. Greg’s first year at the temple went well, he was obedient, ingenuous, devoted, and pious. It’s over a year since I last saw him…. ↩, One may see two quite different, indeed opposite, sorts of frontal lobe syndromes. When the leg caused pain, briefly, he knew something had happened, he knew it was there; as soon as the pain ceased, it went from his mind. 521–535. In the summer of 1990, Greg’s father, who had come every morning before work to see Greg, and would joke and chat with him for an hour, suddenly died. ↩, Another patient, Ruby G., was in some ways similar to Greg. I was sorry that Greg could not have seen this crowd; he would have felt himself one of them, at home. “I guess he must have been around fifty,” he said. The Dead!,” then with a shift of rhythm, and a slow emphasis on each word, “We want the Dead!” And then, “Tobacco Road, Tobacco Road,” the name of one of his favorite songs, until the music began. “I guess you must be missing your father,” I ventured. But was there a deeper Greg beneath his illness, beneath the shallowing effect of his frontal lobe loss and amnesia? He slowly ceased to be a center of attention, the focus of eager therapeutic activities—more and more he was left to himself, left out of programs, not taken anywhere, quietly ignored. Even his EEG, so slow and incoherent most of the time, became calm and rhythmical with music. Once when I was in Greg’s room another patient walked past. Greg by this time had had several psychological and neuropsychological evaluations, and these, besides commenting on his memory and attentional problems, had all spoken of him as being “shallow,” “infantile,” “insightless,” “euphoric.” It was easy to see why they had thought this; Greg was like this for much of the time. Give Greg not only “facts,” but a sense of time and history, of the relatedness (and not merely the existence) of events, an entire (if synthetic) framework for thinking? And whereas for the rest of us, the present is given its meaning and depth by the past (hence it becomes “the remembered present,” in Gerald Edelman’s term), as well as being given potential and tension by the future, for Greg it was flat and (in its meager way) complete. His parents had seen him occasionally when he was in the Brooklyn temple, but now all communication from him virtually ceased. What, I wondered, if one gave him political or satirical limericks, limericks not about babies and rabies, but about the current national or world situation? I heard them in Central Park and at the Fillmore East.”, “Yes,” I said, “you told me. This is “Undermind,” I said to myself—and was intrigued to have, through a reversible intoxication, a brief experience of what, in patients, is usually permanent. Prime. The Last Hippie showcases one of Dr. Sacks patient’s Greg F. who suffered from profound amnesia due to a midline tumor. First published in 1982 as part of the Crass record album Christ: The Album, Penny Rimbaud's The Last of the Hippies is a fiery anarchist polemic centered on the story of his friend, Phil Russell aka Wally Hope, who was murdered by the State while incarcerated in a mental institution. She too had a huge frontal tumor, which, though it was removed in 1973, left her with amnesia, a frontal lobe syndrome, and blindness. I had the impression he was shocked, doubly shocked, at the sudden, appalling news of his father’s death, and at the fact that he himself did not know, had not registered, did not remember. He would go to the Village, and listen to Allen Ginsberg declaiming all night; he loved rock music, especially acid rock, and, above all, the Grateful Dead. You see, he’s not with the Dead anymore.”, “Not with them?” said Greg, in astonishment. A couple of days after the last person had left the festival site. Greg’s absurdist, often gnomic utterances, combined with his seeming serenity (actually blandness), gave him an appearance of innocence and wisdom combined, gave him a special status on the ward, ambiguous but respected, a Holy Fool. This is something which Connie Tomaino and I are trying to do now. He is a Holy One, said the swami, one of us. This sort of thing often happened with Greg, when he put things into the wrong context, or failed to connect them with the present; it was particularly startling to hear him talk to Connie about “another” Connie. (ISBN: 9780571193134) from Amazon's Book Store. Another day, when I visited him he was in the dining room, awaiting lunch. It is also a hilarious novel, packed with anecdote after anecdote, entwined with illustrations and thought-provoking quotes from typical Hippy sources. One felt that Greg, though damaged, still had a personality, an identity, a soul.16. He is caught in the Sixties, unable to move on. Thus amnesiacs may have perfect, intact “immediate” memories, but lack the ability to transfer them into permanent memory. ↩, This is in distinction to Mr. Thompson, who with his more severe frontal lobe syndrome had been reduced to a sort of nonstop, wisecracking, talking machine, and when told of his brother’s death quipped, “He’s always the joker!” and rushed on to other, irrelevant things. Wally Hope was a visionary and a freethinker, whose life had a profound influence on many in the culture of the UK Underground and beyond. Please try again. With consistent repetition Greg might learn a few facts, and these would be retained. “Watching” TV for him, I observed later, consisted of following with attention the soundtrack of a movie or show, and inventing visual scenes to go with it (even though he might not even be looking toward the TV). And it is easy, even if one is not an amnesiac, to lose touch with current reality in the back wards of hospitals for the chronically ill. But then, in a few minutes, he would forget, and be cheerful again; and was so prevented from going through the work of grief, the mourning.18. Buy The Last of the Hippies by Stone, C.J. His greatest passion in life was music, and more specifically The Grateful Dead. He enjoyed these, clapping and singing along wordlessly, or making up words as he went. He could not stand alone. It was easy to demonstrate the severity of his immediate amnesia. R.R. But, it seemed to me, there was perhaps now an implicit knowledge, and perhaps too a symbolic (though not a conceptual) knowing. When I asked him who was the president, he said “Lyndon,” then, “the one who got shot.” I prompted, “Jimmy…” and he said, “Jimi Hendrix,” and when I roared with laughter, he said maybe a musical White House would be a good idea. But as soon as I talked to him, or if he was stimulated by sounds (especially music) near him—and with his blindness he now showed a heightened sensitivity to these, an almost exclusively auditory orientation—he “came to,” “awakened,” in an astonishing way. He was born and raised in Queens, New York to a professional family. Until one day, in college, he suffered a stroke. To calculate the overall star rating and percentage breakdown by star, we don’t use a simple average. This sort of wisecracking, indeed, is quite characteristic of such orbitofrontal syndromes—and is so striking that it has been given a name to itself: Witzelsucht, or “joking disease.” Some restraint, some caution, some inhibition, is destroyed, and patients with such syndromes tend to react, immediately and incontinently, to everything around them, and everything within them—to virtually every object, every person, every sensation, every word, every thought, every emotion, every nuance and tone. To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number. Brain imaging had shown an enormous tumor of the pituitary gland, destroying the adjacent optic chiasm and tracts, and extending on both sides into the frontal lobes. We got him dressed swiftly, and bundled him into the car. But these studies were based on brief evaluations, not on long-continued observation and relationship of a sort which is, perhaps, only possible in a hospital for chronic patients, or in situations where a whole world, a whole life, is shared with the patient.15, Greg’s “frontal lobe” characteristics—his lightness, his quick-fire associations, were fun; but beyond this there shone through a basic decency and sensitivity and kindness. In this instant, then, he was doubly devastated—not only by the death of his father, but by the sudden revelation of his own amnesia. But the second half of the concert was somewhat strange for Greg: more of the songs dated from the mid- or late Seventies, and had lyrics which were unknown to him, though they were familiar in style. If Greg was alone, in a corridor, he seemed scarcely alive; but as soon as he was in company, he was a different person altogether. Top subscription boxes – right to your door, © 1996-2020,, Inc. or its affiliates. Or, see all newsletter options here. Please try again. The Hippie, which draws attention with its cover with five different color options, is based on a real story from Coelho’s life in 1970. Cart Hello Select your address Best Sellers Deals Store New Releases Gift Ideas Customer Service Electronics Home Books Coupons Computers Gift Cards Sell Registry. “What do you mean?” Greg answered. This shopping feature will continue to load items when the Enter key is pressed. Once Greg is “awakened,” once his cortex comes to life, one sees that this animation itself has a strange quality—an uninhibited and quirky quality of the sort one tends to see when the orbital portions of the frontal lobes (i.e., the portions adjacent to the eyes) are damaged, a so-called orbitofrontal syndrome.8 The frontal lobes are the most complex part of the brain, concerned not with the “lower” functions of movement and sensation, but the highest ones of integrating all judgment and behavior, all imagination and emotion, into that unique identity which we like to speak of as “personality” or “self.” Damage to other parts of the brain may produce specific disturbances of sensation or movement, of language, or of specific perceptual, cognitive, or memory functions. Indeed, he seemed eminently philosophical about it. “Hippie 1 – Three years and 74 days that changed Denmark” was the white book on the upturn: The story of the explosion in the Summer of Love and the euphoric culmination of the great Thy experiment. Beginning in September 1970, the “Magic Bus” unites a cast of characters from around the world to seek a higher. There is no differentiation in such a sensitivity—the grand, the trivial, the sublime, the ridiculous, are all mixed up and treated as equal.9 There may be a childlike spontaneity and transparency about such patients, in their immediate and unpremeditated (and often playful) reactions. His sight grew still dimmer, but he offered no further complaints. Read The Last Hippie book reviews & author details and more at Although Tulving and his colleagues were specifically concerned with their subjects’ ability to learn some hundreds of short sentences, they allude to other sorts of learning amnesiacs have been found capable of—learning statements of facts about people, places, and things; learning new computer-related vocabulary or simple computer commands. All sorts of therapeutic programs and enterprises were started at this time, but all of them—not just the learning of Braille—ended in failure. When I told him a story and asked him to repeat it, he did so in a more and more confused way, with more and more “contaminations” and misassociations—some droll, some extremely bizarre—until within five minutes his story bore no resemblance to the one I had told him. In 1969 he gravitated, as so many young acid heads did, to the Swami Bhaktivedanta, and his society for Krishna Consciousness, on Second Avenue. But when I returned, a few minutes later, Greg had no memory of the conversation we had had, of the news I had given him, no idea that his father had died. Ill, blind, incorrigibly disabled, he had been dumped in a hospital for the chronically sick with no prospect of ever getting out or recovering; but nothing of this seemed real to him at all. His eyes showed complete optic atrophy—it was impossible for him to see anything. But then there were newer songs, radically different, like “Picasso Moon,” with dark and deep harmonies, and an electronic instrumentation such as would have been impossible, unimaginable, in the 1960s. “He’s not there…. But this sense of movement, of happening, Greg lacked; he seemed immured, without knowing it, in a motionless, timeless, moment. Looking at Greg transformed in this way, I could see no trace of his amnesia, his frontal lobe syndrome—he seemed at this moment completely normal, as if the music was infusing him with its own strength, its coherence, its spirit. In a note about Greg of March 1979, I reported that “games, songs, verses, converse, etc. Mourning requires that one hold the sense of loss in one’s mind, and it was far from clear to me that Greg could do this. I first met Greg in April 1977, when he arrived at Williamsbridge Hospital. Three more years passed before Greg’s parents finally decided they had to see for themselves. Llinás and D. Paré, “On Dreaming and Wakefulness,” Neuroscience, Vol. “It was a big concert,” I said. I haven’t seen him for a long time. Penny Rimbaud is a writer, poet, philosopher, painter, musician, and activist. This was not a question I could decide at first, and perhaps too I was prejudiced against finding any depths in Greg, because the neuropsychological studies I knew of seemed to disallow this possibility. It is easy to show that simple information can be embedded in songs; thus we can give Greg the date every day, in the form of a jingle, and he can readily isolate this, and say it when asked—give it, that is, without the jingle. ↩, The nature of the “organic unity,” at once dynamic and semantic, which is central to music, incantation, recitation, and all metrical structures, has been most profoundly analyzed by Victor Zuckerkandl, in his remarkable book Sound and Symbol (two volumes, Princeton University Press, 1973). When a nurse announced, “Lunch is here,” he immediately responded, “It’s time for cheer”; when she said, “Shall I take the skin off your chicken?” he instantly responded, “Yeah, why don’t you slip me some skin.” “Oh, you want the skin?” she asked, puzzled. 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