This time we are not talking about the absurd experiments that inspired Stranger Things with its famous “upside down”. The case of patient M still continues to cause discussion. Why? Simple, he began to see the world upside down after being shot in the head during the Spanish Civil War.
For several years neurologists believed that the brain was made up of distinct regionsseparated by clear boundaries. However, various cases just like that of patient M have challenged this idea, allowing a doctor named Justo Gonzalo Rodríguez-Leal to come up with a new theory of brain dynamics.
The Spanish Civil War was a brutal conflict that lasted from 1936 to 1939, ending the establishment of a dictatorship under Francisco Franco. Taking part in the conflict, patient M was 25 years old when was hit on the head on a battlefield in the east, in May 1938.
After waking up from the coma two weeks later, the soldier seemed to be in perfect health and without particular psycho-physical repercussions, to the point of do not require surgery or any kind of treatment special. Observing patient M carefully over the next fifty years, Rodríguez-Leal described a series of at least bizarre symptoms.
Not only to begin with man saw everything multiplied by three but he also perceived colors “unglued” from objects, as if they were a distinct and separate thing. As “unusual” as they may seem, we haven’t talked about the main symptom yet…
Most bizarre of all, in fact, is that patient M he saw everything as if it had been turned upside down. Rodríguez-Leal himself tries to explain this condition better, revealing how the war veteran “he found his anomalies strange when, for example, he saw men working upside down on scaffolding“. But what could such symptoms be due to?
In Cerebral dynamicsthe doctor explains that the bullet appears to have impacted the left parieto-occipital region of the brain. Precisely by observing the consequences of this lesion, Rodríguez-Leal postulated that the brain may not be divided into distinct but interconnected regions. After all, considering that our brains change with the seasons, why wouldn’t it after a bullet?
As if that weren’t enough, this sensory reversal also extended to other senses such as hearing and touch, both processed by his brain as if they were coming from the opposite side of his body. Despite this severe confusion, the man was able to adjust to the condition, coping with his life with few problems and living into his late 90s.