Wednesday, September 19, 2007

The Traumatically Brain Injured One

In The Brave One, Jodie Foster plays a public radio talk show host who becomes the victim of a shocking, violent, and brutal crime that leaves her in a coma for three weeks. From a clinical standpoint, she clearly sustained traumatic brain injury from the severe beating, but in typical Hollywood fashion she shows absolutely no post-traumatic amnesia and no cognitive or behavioral deficits.

Well, she does buy an illegal, unregistered handgun, and then becomes a vigilante. The movie doesn't suggest that her change in personality is a direct consequence of TBI, but rather an extreme reaction to intense feelings of fear and loss. People keep asking her, "how do you put the pieces of your life back together?" and she answers, "you don't, you become a different person."

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At September 19, 2007 8:20 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good call, Neurocritic. Actually, this is a major piece of Hollywood silliness. Almost anytime somebody is knocked unconscious and somehow shakes it off, they almost never have even a millisecond of amnesia. I am embarrassed to admit that I never noticed this kind of thing before, what with my fancy Ph.D. and all.

(My pet peeve has always been Hollywood screenwriters' penchant for describing the profound anterograde amnesia of, say, Dory in Finding Nemo as "short term memory loss".)

At September 19, 2007 9:01 PM, Blogger The Neurocritic said...

It's either no amnesia or the opposite, complete retrograde amnesia after a slight conk on the head: "Where am I? Who are you? Who am I?"

At September 21, 2007 1:44 PM, Blogger Mark p.s.2 said...

Hey it is a good film, even with its flaws

At September 22, 2007 10:30 PM, Blogger Mr. said...


Did you notice that Slate has linked to this post?

At September 23, 2007 9:31 AM, Blogger The Neurocritic said...

Hi Mr., I did notice, thanks.

At September 23, 2007 12:27 PM, Blogger Odile S said...

'There goes cognitive dissonance theory again...'

At September 25, 2007 10:57 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Slate's link is going to elevate you above c-list, methinks. I had never seen your blog till the link brought me here, and I really like it! I will definitely be adding a bookmark. Thanks for writing.

At September 25, 2007 12:13 PM, Blogger The Neurocritic said...

Thanks for stopping by and commenting. See you soon.


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