This was posted by ExcitingAds! in comments section of New York Times article:
The Anosognosic’s Dilemma: Something’s Wrong but You’ll Never Know What It Is (Part 2).
Human mind is very complex. What is known as intelligent behavior, is a combination of inherited capabilities of human mind and brain, environmental effects and learning, personality, perception of reality and self and concepts about universe and it’s existence. In human mind the reality is formed as a result of input from five senses, which is than interpreted in the light of knowledge, perception and intelligence. Every person has a different set and level of inherited and congenital capabilities, knowledge, beliefs, experiences and frequency and intensity of sensual input. That is why every person’s reality is different from all the other people. It leads us to the conclusion that reality is not absolute, but like anything else in this universe, relative. Perception of reality depends on contrasts. Without contrasts there is no reality. For example, without light there is no dark, without male there is no female, without pain there is no pleasure, without day there is no night, without white there is no black. Deeper and intense the contrast is, more striking the reality is and only the most striking contrasts are perceived by most idiotic mind and brain. The less striking the contrast is, harder it makes to realize the reality. It goes to the level, where the slightest contrasts can be perceived by genius only. Beside, certain people may not be able to see certain colors, depending on their inherited capabilities, knowledge, skills, experiences and personality make-up. In this case, doesn’t matter how striking the contrast is, it will impossible for those people to perceive reality, as perceived by others. To them the reality will be very different from other people’s reality. These are the instances, when you hear comments like, why doesn’t he see this? or why doesn’t she get it? Just like visual appreciation of colors depends mostly on visual acuity, beside other factors, the perception of reality depends mostly on IQ, beside other factors.What is perceived as distortion of reality by others, could either be organic, psychological or intentional or it could just be poor knowledge or lack of intelligence. Our realities are the result of life long learning and experiences, based on our inherited capabilities, intelligence and tendencies. Some of it is who we are that cannot be changed, while the rest is environmental effects and personal experiences, that can or cannot be changed. Unfortunately or fortunately, depending on the way you look at it, most of us and our unique realities cannot be changed. You may call it fate, nature, personality, character, beliefs, whatever. But the fact is that my reality, at least in some ways, is different from yours and yours is different from his or hers. That is why, many studies on homozygous twins have demonstrated that there are always some aspects of ones personality, life, character, behavior and thinking, that may frustrate the other or even the other twin may not understand or at least differ. The reason for this is that while they have same genes, and they may have grown in same environment, their knowledge and experiences are very likely to be not exactly same. In real world, the realities of these twins differ, at least in some ways and people say, “How can this be different in between identical twins?” But the fact is that a different set of knowledge and experiences, make their perception of reality different and that’s why in many cases, they act different, they behave different, they may have different aspirations and goals and they may even end up in different professions. One may turn out to be conservative and other may be liberal, one may be impulsive and other may be rational, one may be aggressive and other may be more careful, one may be soft-hearted and other be strong, one may be nerdy and other may more confirmative. My dad suffered from right-sided hemiplegia for years. His left middle cerebral artery got blocked, causing stroke on the left side of brain. His Broca’s area was effected too. So he could not speak or write anymore. But his understanding and comprehension of reality was not distorted ti a large extent. He still had a very good sense personal well-being, he still realized that he is the husband of my mom and was still interested on corneal relationship. He could not read anymore but he had a full comprehension of verbal communication. He understood that he is paralyzed and fully cooperated in physiotherapy and other recovery efforts. Some times he would intentionally deny his disability and try to do things that he couldn’t anymore, but was apparently due to his intense desire to be independent, again, and not due to any other cause. Patients who show anosognosia, probably, in my experience, are in strong psychological denial. I believe this because, if they have sensations of touch and pain intact and you provide a stimulus to a paralyzed part, they do react.
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