FACE BLINDNESS IN A NUTSHELL: PUTTING A HUMAN FACE ON PROSOPAGNOSIA
Imagine looking directly at someone. If you had prosopagnosia, you wouldn’t be able to match that specific face with any other face you had seen before. As a result, you couldn’t identify the person. You might not be able to recognize your spouse or children, despite seeing them on a daily basis over the span of years. In severe cases, you wouldn’t even recognize your own reflection.
CHANGING YOUR MIND: THE SCIENCE OF TRANSPLANTING A HUMAN HEAD
The most difficult challenge may be reattaching the delicate nerve fibers from the recipient head to the donor body. If the nerve fibers had been damaged in something like a traumatic spinal-cord-crushing car accident, they would be frayed and inflamed. But in the carefully-controlled environment of the surgical theatre, Canavero’s team can cleanly and precisely cut nerve fibers to minimize inflammation.
STARTING FROM SCRATCH: HOW THE BRAIN PROCESSES ITCH
Why do we itch? Scientists believe it is in our biological circuitry. Our skin is wired to have several open lines of communication with our central nervous systems (CNS). When the skin receives some sort of stimulation, neurons at the skin send signals to our CNS using a complex set of neurotransmitters. These chemicals can then excite, inhibit, or otherwise affect the activity of connected neurons.