Oliver Sacks has worked extensively with the elderly, and shoes that not every case of hallucination is Alzheimer’s, or senile dementia, or madness in some form. Follow his talk to see how many, mostly elderly may be misdiagnosed, or keeping silent in fear.

Why you should listen:

Oliver Sacks is a ground-breaking neurologist — and a gifted storyteller, who has enriched our knowledge of the infinite variations of human psychology. After his pioneering work with “sleepy sickness” patients (who were in fact survivors of an early-20th-century pandemic), Sacks went on to study the connections between music and the brain, as well as disorders such as Tourette’s syndrome, Parkinson’s disease, and many other little-understood disorders that often count Sacks as one of their first chroniclers.

Who is he:

Sacks is well known as a writer of such best-selling case histories as The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat, An Anthropologist on Mars, and his memoir of his early work, Awakenings, all of which have breathed new life into the dusty 19th-century tradition of the clinical anecdote. Sacks’ writing, compassion, and wide-ranging knowledge catapults the genre into the 21st century and brings the far frontiers of neurological experience into the view of millions of readers worldwide. He maintains a small practice in New York City.


  1. The single commonest hallucination with Charles Bonnet’s syndrome is ________?
  1. Face recognition is lodged in a part of the brain called the __________ .
  1. These images of the hallucination are formed from the inferotemporal cortex, where there are images and fragments of images, but no _______ or ________ .
  1. Why are these hallucinations different than dreams?
  1. Charles Bonnet wondered 250 years ago how the theater of the imagination could be generated from the machinery of the brain. As a psychologist, do you think we are close to answering that question? Explain your answer.
  1. What does Sack’s say about the difference between Charles Bonnet’s Syndrome and the hallucinations of the mentally ill?

What Hallucination Reveals About Our Mind with Oliver Sacks


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