At PEM, Asher helps to inform exhibition design strategy by analyzing emerging neuroscientific findings and proposing recommendations to increase engagement and visitor impact.
First, his walking had grown unsteady; then his hearing had worsened.
At this point it may be too early to answer these questions.
What is apparent, is that play holds the potential to help us learn, to help us grow, and now, to help us heal—at all ages of life.
But, Marsh explained, surgery could leave him paralyzed, or worse.
The family faced a difficult choice, between the certainty of a slow, predictable decline and the possibility of an immediate cure—or catastrophe. “I’ve told them you should do it.” Flattered, Marsh agreed to go ahead.For millennia psychiatric disease has plagued the human population.It has remained difficult to treat, let alone to cure, in part because of its obscured etiology.We just didn’t understand enough about what goes on in the brain to generate these clusters of symptoms that we experience as mental illness.It was the introduction of technologies, like neuroimaging (e.g.The question was whether it could, or should, be removed.Marsh, who had been practicing neurosurgery for only a few years, was unsure.When these two regions “talked” to one another (exhibiting the desired neural activity), patients were rewarded in the game: a piece of the masked image would become visible. So, it appears that, under some circumstances, our innate drive to play can be harnessed to heal.Because the patients were motivated to play the game and uncover the masked images, over time, they learned to unconsciously reproduce the neural activity that resulted in this reward. In response to this realization, I can’t help but wonder: what happens to our experience of play when it is endowed with purpose?The tumor was massive—he was startled by its size—and it was situated in the brain stem, a vital area.Left to itself, it would destroy the schoolteacher’s hearing, rob him of his ability to walk, and, eventually, kill him.