Scientists from the USA studied the brains of men who can’t see the numbers from 2 to 9. As it turned out, his brain is able to recognize that before him the figure, but in the mind it appears as a set of entangled lines. Scientists hope that further work with unusual patient to learn more about the relationship of consciousness and perception.

Neuroscientists from Johns Hopkins University examined the brains of men who can’t see the numbers from 2 to 9. This allowed us to learn more about the relationship of consciousness and perception. “Газета.Ru” acquainted with the study published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

the 60-year-old engineer-geologist, designated as R. F. S., in 2010, faced with severe headache, followed by amnesia, aphasia, and transient loss of vision. In 2011, he had the tremors, muscle spasms, difficulties walking. Over time, these symptoms progressed, and doctors diagnosed the man corticobasal syndrome.

Corticobasal syndrome is a rare complication in Parkinson’s disease. It occurs due deposits Tau protein in different parts of the brain. The syndrome is a breach of purposeful movements and actions (apraxia), and alien limb syndrome in which any from the limbs acting itself, and other movement disorders. In the case of R. F. S. suffered cerebral cortex and basal ganglia associated with motor function.

the Syndrome has led to an unusual effect — the patient ceased to distinguish the numerals from 2 to 9 and described them as “a tangle of black lines.”

“We tried to explore what happens beyond his consciousness,” write the authors.

They conducted several experiments. In one of them the patient is asked to draw an orange eight. But instead she had R. F. S. received only a Doodle, which he described as “spaghetti with orange background”.

In another was used large, bright letters and numbers, within which or near them was written a different word or drawn image. Working with letters, the patient can easily read the words and learned image. But in the case of numbers he did in only half of cases.

“When he looks at the figure, his brain needs to recognize that before him is the figure before the patient will understand that he sees it, is a real paradox,” the researchers note.

“In this case, we believe mental disorders are unlikely for several reasons — they write. — At the time of our study, F. R. S. addressed to a psychiatrist for help in adjusting to his condition, and the psychiatrist had no suspicion that any of his symptoms due to mental disorder. In addition, mental disorders Rezathe results of these in such experiments typically are at the level of random guessing, and the patient they were higher.”

Interestingly, other studies also showed the difference in changing the perception of the digits 0 and 1 compared to other digits in other patients with brain damage, the authors of the work. It is assumed that these numbers have a special cognitive status associated with their role in computing — for example, they do not indicate any set.

In the case of R. F. S., perhaps the fact that 0 and 1 are similar to the letters o and l, so he is able to recognize them.

Scientists have observed for the R. F. S. for eight years and even developed a new style of figures, which he could use in the work until retirement. However, to understand what is really going on with his brain, it was possible only with the help of electroencephalogram. Scientists followed the work of man’s brain as he tried to recognize the words and images inscribed in numbers.

In neurology is generally considered that the activity that the researchers observed in EEG, evidence of visual perception. However, though man does not “see” words and images, his brain was able to recognize them. This suggests that perception and consciousness were inextricably linked with each other, as previously thought. In the near future, researchers hope to delve into this topic, and to understand why this relationship is disrupted in the brain R. F. S.

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