• Posted Seeing in the dark to Psych 1001 Section 010 and 011 Fall 2011 Above is a link to an article I found on Stumbleupon one day. It is about a man that had the visual cortex of his brain destroyed by two consecutive strokes. This rendered him permanently blind in both eyes. It is common for stroke victims to develop full or partial blindness, however this man's case was unusual because both hemispheres were damaged, leaving him completely blind. This type is known as selective bilateral occipital damage. Researches began to examine him while he was recovering and discovered something very interesting, despite his complete loss of visual imagery, he maintained the ability to decipher emotion on a person's face. This ability was proven by examining his amygdala activity (used for emotive processing) during these tests. To go further, researches designed an obstacle course by arranging boxes, chairs, ect down a long hallway to see if the man could navigate around without any assistance. He required an aide and a cane to maneuver, but successfully navigated the course without running into anything. This information shows that his eyes were still fully functioning and able to gather information from his surroundings, however he cannot create a definite image of it. He has maintained his spatial awareness through his subconscious. This case reminds me of the man from the last exam that suffered from epilepsy and had his corpus collosum severed. He was able to retain information and process it without being consciously aware of it. While I believe that this case of "seeing in the dark" is fully plausible, I have a problem with the study of the obstacle course. The main was given an aide to help him move about, and I think this may have had some role in the success of him completing the course. The aide could have unintentionally given the blind man cues as to which direction to move (i.e. slightly pulling toward and away to avoid the obstacles.) This would apply to Occam's Razor of critical thinking because the claim may be better explained by more simple factors....
  • Posted "Gloomy Sunday" Suicides to Psych 1001 Section 010 and 011 Fall 2011
    Here is a provided link to the hoax I found about a claim that a Hungarian song "Gloomy Sunday" that allegedly caused many suicides in Hungary and more in the United States after it was translated and re-recorded by Billie Holiday. Lyrics are provided. --Just in case you're curious, here is the link to the original, Hungarian version written by Rezso Seress and Laszo Javor in 1933: --and the American version by Billie Holiday: More recent and modern versions have also be created. This hoax claims that the song and lyrics caused the deaths of up to 200 people worldwide after the songs release in Hungary and translated to English by Billie Holiday in the U.S. The first questions that arise to validate this claim would be: How were the suicides linked to the song? Did the song itself cause many individuals to kill themselves, or were they linked in some other way? Suicides were linked to the song in a variety of ways, some left suicide notes with references to lyrics, held Gloomy Sunday sheet music in their hands, or had "Gloomy Sunday" playing when they died. These claims could have been placed by some biased by the people that found them dead or they may have believed they found references to the song when there were none (confirmation bias). Firstly, we cannot disprove or disprove this hoax because it is not falsifiable. We simply cannot bring back the dead and conduct a study to find out whether there is sufficient evidence that the song caused such emotional destruction that it led the listener to kill them self. We can only use inferences by clues left behind by the subjects. Secondly, it is unclear whether or not the song caused the suicides, or if there was another or several other factors that influenced the person to commit. It is coincidental that many people referred to "Gloomy Sunday", but it is extremely common to have songs and lyrics referred to in the event of suicide. We could take many examples of songs and relate them to several suicides. For this reason it cannot be proven that the song is what caused the suicide. This is the most useful principle for evaluating this particular claim. This hoax reminds me of the Judas Priest example of the alleged subliminal message in one of their songs that caused people to kill themselves....
  • Posted "Gloomy Sunday" Suicides to T.Sondeland Blog
    Here is a provided link to the hoax I found about a claim that a Hungarian song "Gloomy Sunday" that allegedly caused many suicides in Hungary and more in the United States after it was translated and re-recorded by...
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