Working as a scientist in Chicago Illinois we deal with some pretty controversial research. One of my most passionate experiments also happens to be the most controversial. My team and I had been trying to restore function to dead tissue. It can be life changing if we can successfully accomplish this. We were very successful in returning functions to the severed limbs of small animals when we decided it was time to find a human test subject. An eight year old child, named Sarah, had been in a devastating car accident that left her in a complete vegetative state. Her father died in the car accident and her mother was desperate so she agreed to let us experiment on her daughter. Sarah was hooked up to an EEG and it showed no brain activity to verbal stimulus, in the cerebellum, or painful stimulus, the thalamus. The thalamus is the sensory switchboard in the brain; it receives transmissions from all of the senses, except smell, and transmits them to the higher regions of the brain. In a person with normal brain functions if you prick them on the finger with a pin it will send a pain impulse, using different nociceptors, to the nerve cells which will then be sent up the spinal cord to the sensory cortex in the parietal lobe. After preforming our nuerosyntesis experiment on Sarah’s brain we had nothing left to do but wait to see how her body will respond. We were hoping that it would go well and that her young age would work to our advantage. Unfortunately Sarah’s heart stopped and she was pronounced dead only two hours after the procedure.
Sarah was left connected to the monitors after twenty minutes of her being pronounced dead we started getting extremely, almost unnaturally high reading in the hypothalamus part of her brain, controlling hunger. It was the strangest thing because she was still dead, she was not breathing and her heart was not beating, but somehow she had brain function. We took a sample of her blood and sent it to the lab as a rush. I needed to know if we had somehow changed her genetic material. After the blood was taken she was awake and moaning and moving but in an uncoordinated matter. She had no response to verbal stimulation and seemed to have no memories of her mother. While Sarah was restrained, her mother sat at the edge of her bed and showed her pictures of her and her father and told her stories. Yet, the temporal lobe showed no kind of activity. There were no synapses or anything at all that would indicate that she remembered, or even understood anything that was being said. I think Sarah’s mother almost gave up hope, but she insisted that we take her daughter outside. She used to live outside and that was all she needed and she would be back to normal, her mother was certain of it. Her mother was helping her walk because, while she had no real trouble moving, she had no sense of coordination. So while the motor cortex showed activity and Acetylcholine (ACh) was being sent from the brain to the muscle cell receptors the ACh producing neurons had been deteriorated. While her mother was helping her down the hallway to the door Sarah bit her on the arm. Shocked that her daughter had just bitten her she let her daughter go and let her guard down to inspect her arm. Then we all heard a blood curdling scream come from the mother and as we all ran to see what was happening none of us were prepared for what we saw.
Sarah’s mother was lying on the floor trying to get Sarah off her while Sarah ripped open her mother’s stomach devouring her. We pulled Sarah off her mother and took her to an isolated room strapped her down and sent her to get a functioning MRI. About twenty minutes later we had finally gotten a good handle on Sarah so we went back to check on her mother. We all knew she was dead she had lost so much blood and tissue there was no sense in hurrying. There was nothing we could do to help her. Surprisingly, when we got there she was gone, not like she had been moved...
Cited: Myers D. G. (2011). Exploring Psychology 9e. New York: Worth Publishers.
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