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The Unpredictable Species

What Makes Humans Unique

Philip Lieberman

Parkinson's Disease different to Alzheimers, which primarily affects memory. P is a subcortical dementia, and shows up as perservation - continuing to act or think along one track, even though circumstances dictate a change. Test where given cards with 3 symbols - a large triangle, a small triangle and a small circle - and subjects asked to pick odd one out. An easy test - everyone gets it right the first time through. Then asked to go through cards again, and "do the sort another way" (ie if picked shape as odd one, need to sort on size next time through). Parkinson's patients have huge problems changing tack, and even make many mistakes when try to go back to first sort tactic.

They have problems understanding passive voice in sentences: "The boy kissed the girl" is OK but "The girl was kissed by the boy" they cannot figure out who kissed who. And fail the Stroop test, where have to identify the colour of the word 'red' when it's written in blue ink.

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