Recent events in my own life reminded me of a blog post titled, “What About Lewis Carroll” by Sadi Ranson-Polizzotti, that I’d found a few years ago concerning the role temporal lobe epilepsy played in the delightful imagination of The Rev. Charles Dodgson (author of such beloved classics as “Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland” that was published in 1865 under his more familiar nom de plume, Lewis Carroll). Finding out I had something in common with one of my literary heroes, Temporal Lobe Epilepsy (also referred to as ‘Complex Partial Seizures’ or ‘Psychomotor Epilepsy’), peaked my interest in finding out more about Dodgson personally and also about other famous authors, artists, and composers who have lived with this diagnosis, and whether medical science has been able to find a cause-and-effect between TLE and the vivid imaginations, mystical experiences, and profuse output of creative works of such persons. While I have not come across a research study that definitively proves or disproves a biological etiology for such traits, I did find an enormous interest among experts in the field of cognitive neuroscience and a plethora of research that appears well on the way to not only proving such a connection but also being able to map it out in the brain.
Is that cool, or what?
In any case, if you’re either a fan of Lewis Carroll, have an interest in Temporal Lobe Epilepsy in general or in learning more about the recent discoveries in Cognitive Neuroscience identifying the exact location(s) in the brain and the environmental and biological triggers that produce highly attenuated senses (visual, auditory, taste, smell and/or touch), out-of-body feelings, paranormal experiences, hyper-religiosity, déjà vu (a feeling of familiarity), jamais vu (a feeling of unfamiliarity), hypergraphia, altered states of consciousness such as euphoria and samadhi, and more, I’ve put together a selection of links that I think you’ll enjoy. At the top of the list you’ll find links to Sadi Ranson-Polizzotti’s blog where she has a number of scholarly articles about Lewis Carroll and Temporal Lobe Epilepsy. I recommend these as a good place to start.
- Tant Mieux
- “The Bedside, Bathtub & Armchair Companion to Lewis Carroll”
- A Glimpse of How Mind Produces Art
- “Seized: Temporal Lobe Epilepsy as Medical, Historical and Artistic Phenomenon”
- jamais vu
- Hypergraphia and Hypographia: Two ‘Diseases’ of the Written Word
- “Theological Aspects of Temporal Lobe Function”
- The Neurophysiology of the Brain: Its Relationship to Altered States of Consciousness (With emphasis on the Mystical Experience)
- Schizophrenia and Temporal Lobe Epilepsy
- Creativity And The Brain
- Tonic-Clonic Seizures
- Tonic-Clonic Seizure Overview
- Complex Partial Seizures (CPS)
- Simple Partial Seizures (SPS)
- déjà vu
Suitably apropos, this morning’s serving of artwork is built around my interpretation of one of Lewis Carroll’s hand-sketched illustrations that was included in the 1865 first publication of “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland”. (Special Note: While the images linked below are low-resolution (72 ppi), I’ll be sending off to the printer’s the 600 ppi original file later this week and making the image available through my Zazzle store in poster-size as well as a Greeting Card.)
Free Clip-Art / Icons of the Day
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