[Magazine] Scientific American Mind. Vol. 17. No 4

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If I needed brain surgery, he would be my surgeon. I thought about how satisfying it must be for him to go out to the family, announce his success and vindicate their most difficult decision. They had put their daughter’s life in his hands, and he was able to offer her a life without fear of the malformation. Others had warned strongly against surgery, citing unacceptable risk. The family went ahead anyway and could now be grateful that they had made the right decision. The patient woke up gradually over the next half an hour, recovering slowly after hours of anesthesia.

Fries and other researchers have in fact measured the synchronization effect in the visual area of animals even before they were presented with an expected stimulus. Probably, brain regions such as the frontal cortex or the limbic system exercise influence over synchronization in the sensory areas [see box above]. All incoming stimuli set their own temporal coupling patterns in motion. If these stimuli correspond to those that the expectation has created, the incoming signals are reinforced by a resonance effect and conducted onward.

SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN MIND 41 ( ) Surgeon Firlik: “The risks have to be laid out plain, in the open. ” surgery can sometimes be as difficult as the mechanics of it, as I must remind myself every day in my practice. Now or Later A clear example of that psychology is that one surgeon’s handshake can become another surgeon’s challenge. When this same woman’s original neurosurgeon left town to practice elsewhere, she and her parents sought the advice of another physician, one known for both his superlative microsurgical skills and his willingness to take on the most difficult cases.

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