PAPER3 10_31_07 edited

PAPER3 10_31_07 edited - Lorberg, Michael Lorberg Mr. Jehle...

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Lorberg , Michael Lorberg Mr . Jehle Expository Writing 101 October 31 , 2007 “The Brain: A Capable Adaptor?” Tragedy , injury, and disease are all occurrences experienced to some degree in life, as is the resulting trauma . The tolls this trauma can wreak range from the psychological, to the physical , and more. In the essay, “The Mind’s Eye”, author Oliver Sacks discusses various traumatized people who experienced blindness , as well as one instance of deafness. “When I Woke Up Tuesday Morning , It Was Friday”, by Martha Stout, also discusses trauma. Instead of physical trauma , however, she focuses on psychological trauma and dementia. Similarly to Stout , Tim O’Brien also discusses psychologically based trauma in his harrowing essay, “How to Tell a True War Story” . The brain is highly flexible to trauma. However, there are limits to its flexibility . It has the capability of adapting to the same trauma multiple times, and can sometimes even be affected in a beneficial manner . The human brain is capable of adapting to some extent to almost all forms of trauma . Visual trauma results in the heightening of audition and vice versa: auditory trauma results in incredible increases in visionary capabilities . Sacks says, “Both Dennis and Arlene, similarly, spoke not only of a heightening of visual imagery and imagination since losing their eyesight but also of what seemed to be a much readier transference of information from verbal description— or from their own sense of touch , movement, hearing, or smell—into a visual form” (Sacks blah). Sacks’s essay relies heavily on physical trauma , specifically visual trauma with auditory trauma addressed almost in passing . He entirely avoids an enormous area of trauma, however; namely , psychological trauma. Stout describes numerous patients and their methods of adapting to their trauma . One in particular is a powerful and moving example: “When the abuse began, she would ‘go somewhere else’; she would ‘not be there .’ By this, she meant that her mind had learned how to dissociate Julia’s self from what was going on around her , how to transport her awareness to a place far enough away that , at most, she felt she was watching the life of a little girl named Julia from a very great distance” (Stout 587) . From childhood, Julia’s brain was trained to simply take her away whenever trauma was before her
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PAPER3 10_31_07 edited - Lorberg, Michael Lorberg Mr. Jehle...

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