Consciousness at the Crossroads: Conversations with the by Dalai Lama

By Dalai Lama

This publication addresses probably the most basic and complex questions that experience pushed a wedge among the geographical regions of Western technological know-how and faith for hundreds of years.

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We think that this represents an impairment in storage. This is in part because we have patients who have a memory impairment for a short time, only for one day, for example. And when such patients recover function in these brain sites, they never recover memory for that lost day. It is as though those events were never recorded. Different Types of Memory DALAI LAMA: In Buddhist psychology, we speak of memory in terms of retention and storage. Could some cases involve the capacity for retention, but not for the storing of memory?

ROBERT LIVINGSTON: Would you like to say something about personal neglect syndromes? ANTONIO DAMASIO: There is a condition occurring with particular lesions, especially involving the right hemisphere, although they can also involve the left, in which the patient loses the ability to pay attention to bodily events that are occurring on the other side of the body. So, if I have a brain lesion in my left hemisphere, I may be normally attentive and congruent about what happens on either side of my body and the space around my body.

For instance, if a very skilled musician loses the ability to perceive pitch or to recognize melodies as a result of a stroke, that skill is lost forever. We have studied musically talented patients. We have followed the case of a professional opera singer who suffered a stroke in his right hemisphere affecting his acoustic processing systems. His ability to recognize arias, even from operas he had sung on stage for years, was entirely lost. His ability to sing on pitch was also lost. But, he can still go to the piano, with a score in front of him, and play perfectly, without error.

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