More on pigeonhole hazards and on “memory-based learning disabilities”

Of course, any effort to pigeonhole a diagnosis is at the mercy of the repertoire of the available “official” pidgeonholes sanctioned by the exisiting diagnostic manuals. In the minds of many people inhabiting the world of neurodevelopmental disorders,these pigeonholes are blissfully few: dyslexia, autism or “the spectrum”, Asperger’s syndrome, pervasive developmental disorder, and of course ADHD. In the minds of some such people their diagnostic world is further blissfully simplified: it is a set of one, ADHD being that one....

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The pigeonhole hazards

As a young man,I contracted bad amoebic infection while traveling overseas. I was treated but the symptoms persisted and I went to see the top gastroenterologist in New York, presumably one of the best in the world. He examined me and said, “Dont worry, it will go away.” “But what is it?,” I kept pressing for a diagnosis. “It is a garbage syndrome andit will go away,” was the famous doctor’s response. Many years later, I developed odd floaters in...

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Cross-cultural neuroscience

We all agree that brain development, brain aging, and functional organization of the brain are a product of complex interaction between biological and cultural factors, but the exact nature of these interactions is not well understood. Virtually all of our neuroimaging studies (both structural and functional) are conducted in Western or Westernized societies, and we assume that the findings are invariant across humanity. But are they and to what degree? Cross-cultural cognitive research has a long and rich history. It...

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