Mad Scientists


As fascinated as I am by neuroplasticity, I don’t know if I can finish this book.  I had just finished this author’s book, The Brain’s Way of Healing and I liked it so much I ordered extra credits on my Audible just so I could listen to this on my drive.  I was a little creeped out by the way he kept referring to any sort of kink as a perversion with its roots in childhood medical illness with painful procedures. I thought Okay, this guy is a little old fashioned using the word “perversion” to describe so many sexual acts that are not normal intercourse between a man and woman.

But then…

He started describing those experiments that Taub conducted on monkeys. I was interested in the research as it pertains to neuroplasticity, especially in stroke victims. But as Dr. Doidge described in more detail how Taub, severed nerves in the poor creatures, amputated their fingers, repeatedly opened their skulls and restrained them for weeks/months as you see below,  I couldn’t concentrate on what the whole point of the studies might have been.  I actually yelled ” What the F…” while I was driving.

When I got home this afternoon, I Googled the creep:


I want to go grab Taub and shake him.  We had a pet monkey, Pepe, when I was young. He was like the most annoying sibling in the world but he was child like in his affections ( and tantrums). That monkey in restraints looks so much like Pepe. I can’t imagine putting any living thing through that sort of torture, but this just breaks my heart.   I know that this horrid man advanced the field of neurology and the information gained has changed the lives of so many human victims of stroke and other CNS injury. But can we honestly believe that there was not another way to get this knowledge?

images( He looks like such a nice guy, doesn’t he?)

The book may be a great source of information, but I don’t know if I can go back to it. The author seems to be excusing Taub’s methods. I just had to turn the book off for now.

What do you think? What limits should be there be in using other animals in research? Does the good outweigh the bad?

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