During the 1940s, Gonzalo proposed that the brain was not a collection of discrete parts, but that its various functions were distributed to varying degrees throughout the brain. Gonzalo’s idea was against the common belief of the time about brain function. Alberto Garcia MolinaIn an interview with the Spanish newspaper El Pais, a neuropsychologist at the Gutman Institute in Spain said: “At that time, the brain was considered like a small box that, if you changed a part of it, a certain defect would appear. For Dr. Gonzalo, compartmentalized brain theories could not explain the questions that were raised about my patient, so he began to develop his own theory of brain dynamics, departing from the prevailing belief of the time about how the brain works.”
Gonzalo, studying patient M and other people with brain damage, suggested that the effects of brain damage depend on the size and location of the damage. He also showed that these injuries do not destroy specific functions, but affect the balance between different functions, as was seen in the case of my patient. Gonzalo identified three syndromes: central (impairment in several senses), extracentral (same as central, but with effects that are not uniformly distributed), and peripheral (affecting brain pathways associated with specific senses).
Gonzalo’s research was groundbreaking research based on a unique and incredible case, but it is not as well known as it should be. Now, Gonzalo’s daughter, Isabel Gonzalo Funrodona, has collaborated with García Molina on a new paper, re-characterizing the case by examining her father’s scientific papers on Patient M.
Single case studies have helped scientists understand brain function for hundreds of years and provide a valuable substitute for scientific evidence for today’s meta-analyses and clinical trials, a new study says. The fact that ideas similar to Gonzalo’s idea about the brain are still popular is evidence that his interpretation of patient M’s injuries and his reverse vision were correct.
This research in the journal Neurology It has been published.