The neuroanatomy of a bi-winner

Mar 10 2011 Published by under Uncategorized

It's a rough world out there in Grantland, folks. With many ICs' paylines solidly under 10%, researchers need to choose their proposal topics carefully--something relevant, something novel, something with the potential to make a real impact on society. With that in mind, I truly feel that Genomic Repairman's got a slam dunk, here:  an interdisciplinary, Scientopia-wide PPG that will ultimately identify the biological mechanisms that underlie the magic of Charlie Sheen. It has "fundability" written all over it, does it not?

I'll be heading up the neuroanatomy side of things, and I thought I'd share some of our target areas with you:

The prefrontal cortex (PFC): As we learned over 150 years ago from the legendary Phineas Gage, damage to the PFC can lead to extreme social dysfunction, and Sheen's impulsivity, inappropriate behavior, and delusional ramblings are all textbook symptoms of compromised PFC integrity. Furthermore, it is well-documented that Sheen actively champions the cause of Better Planning; as the PFC plays a substantial role in executive functions like planning, we predict that his readily observable sub-optimal planning may also be ascribed to alterations in PFC morphology and/or connectivity.

Nucleus Accumbens (NAc): Often referred to as the brain's "pleasure center," the NAc is most commonly studied in the context of drug addiction. It should come as no surprise, then, that we intend to perform a thorough analysis of Sheen's NAc, given his highly publicized affinity for drugs of abuse like cocaine, alcohol, and goddesses. AND ALSO COCAINE, more than Sinatra and Jagger, in case you were curious.

Wernicke's Area: Patients with damage to Wernicke's Area are known to produce streams of dialogue with seemingly little regard for things like syntax or meaning (remember the mnemonic--"Wernicke, wordy!"). And I mean, have you seen Sheen's Korner? Could it BE any less coherent?*

Be sure to check out Leigh and Scicurious's plans for characterizing Sheen's complex pharmacological make up. Together, I'd say the neuro-ladies of Scientopia have a solid plan that could substantially unravel one of society's biggest mysteries. Now, where's our Tiger Blood core?

*apologies to Chandler Bing, here.

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