Monday, May 19, 2014

Neuroskeptic: "Mr. B kept Cash on his mind both day and night"

"A man developed a passionate love for the music of Johnny Cash after being implanted with a brain stimulation device. The unique story is told in a case report in the Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience journal, published on the 6th May."
The authors, Mariska Mantione and colleagues, describe the case of “Mr. B”, a 58 year old Dutch man who had suffered from severe obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and anxiety since the age of 13.

Numerous medications and psychotherapy had failed to provide relief. So Mr B. was given deep brain stimulation (DBS) as a last resort treatment. The electrodes were placed in the nucleus accumbens.

It worked: his OCD and anxiety symptoms went down, down, down, so much so that he felt like his spirit was finally unchained:
Mr. B. reported he felt very confident, calm and assertive and he started to call himself “Mr. B. II”, the new and improved version of himself.
But it wasn’t just his symptoms that changed; his musical taste did too. Previously Mr B had been quite fond of the Rolling Stones, but he wasn’t really a big music lover. However,
…a half year after DBS surgery, Mr. B. stated that he was turning into a Johnny Cash fan. He had been listening to the radio, when he coincidentally heard “Ring of Fire” of the Country and Western singer and experienced that he was deeply affected by the song. Mr. B. started to listen to more songs of Johnny Cash and noticed that he was deeply moved by the raw and low-pitched voice of the singer
His appreciation for the Man in Black soon progressed from liking into devotion. Mr. B kept Cash on his mind both day and night (read more)


Eric the Fruit Bat said...

That evolutionary psychology guy said there's no such thing as free will.

It had something to do with necessity and chance, and some ancient Greek guy, along with some high-tech experiment that showed that causal brain activity preceeds observational brain activity.

I probably don't understand it very well at all.

In any event, for a long time now it's been the case that hearing Beethoven makes me so sick to my stomach that I double over and feel like I'm about to die.

The funny thing is, Beethoven used to make me feel great.

edutcher said...

I guess it means all those Lefties who listened to rock the past 50 years are brain-dead.

As to the OCD and anxiety angle, fascinating stuff.

The Dude said...

Ludwig van at the Korova Milkbar after a bit of the old in out in out, right, droogs? What's that? You felt all the malenky little hairs on my plott standing endwise, and the shivers crawling up like slow malenky lizards? Horroshow!

Viddy well, EtFB - next time they clamp your glazzies open, don't get your yarbles in a tangle. And do not snuff it!

YoungHegelian said...

"I keep a close watch on this brain of mine...."

ricpic said...

When June Carter put her foot down and said "Johnny, that's great an' all about you letting your hair down at Folsom Prison but you're scaring half our fan base away, so I want you to go out and do a Lawrence Welch version of Ring Of Fire, nice and toned down with a pretty in pink back up chorus" Johnny started "Aw shucking" and June said "Mister, we got bills to pay, now do it!" And he did it. Which tells us all know I have to?....alright, here goes:


Shouting Thomas said...

That's funny...

I always thought "Ring of Fire" was a dirty song.

Yeah, that ring of fire.

Known Unknown said...

So, he just became obsessive about Johnny Cash then?

Unknown said...
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Unknown said...

No gossip until we sell. We need all the good juju that can be mustered.

Unknown said...

There are worse things than a Johnny Cash addiction.

KCFleming said...
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KCFleming said...

Johnny Cash's addiction was worse than a Johnny cash addiction.

Seems like he got all OCD about one thing instead of everything.
Not a bad trade.

William said...

It could have been Britney Spears which might have caused him to be committed......A lot of pop singers, like Sinead O'Connor and Lady Gaga are a bit off, and a lot of others like Miley Cyrus pretend to be a bit off, but Britney Spears was the real thing when it came to being nuts. Apparently she's recovered and good for her, but it was scary watching her fall apart. There's a level of madness that's attractive and interesting, and another level that's threatening and scary.....C&W singers are, for the most part, sane, or, anyway, they pretend to be sane. It's good that this man chose Johnny Cash to become obsessed by. Sanity and the reality principle are imbedded in his music. Too much Britney Spears is a precursor to madness. I don't think too much Beethoven is healthy either.

MamaM said...

"The Master of Life's been good to me. He has given me strength to face past illnesses, and victory in the face of defeat. He has given me life and joy where other saw oblivion. He has given new purpose to live for, new services to render and old wounds to heal. Life and love go on, let the music play." Johnny Cash

Let the music play.