links for 2009-12-19

  • chronic confabulation is often seen in patients with frontal lobe damage. Like SB, these people invent fantastical fictions about their lives, telling stories that make little literal sense. They lie about anything and everything, if only because the truth is too confusing. Such confabulations tells us something important about the mind: spontaneous creativity – the ability to make up a story on demand – is a fundamental feature of human cognition. We're all natural storytellers, weaving narratives out of the confusion. In other words, SB's brain damage didn't lead to some special new mental capacity, which the rest of us are missing. Instead, it released a latent creative capacity that we all have, if only we learned how to stop holding it back.

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