Quotable: Alice W. Flaherty on politicians and brain damage

“The neurologist Oliver Sacks tells of a ward of aphasic patients listening to President Reagan giving a speech on television. Although unable to fully understand his words, the patients compensated by being particularly sensitive to his tone and inflections, which they found farcical. A patient with a right hemisphere lesion who could not judge tone was also present. She concentrated on Reagan’s exact words–which she too found ridiculous. Sacks concluded from this that it takes a fully working brain to be deluded by politicians.”

–Alice W. Flaherty, The Midnight Disease

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