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Brain Implant Turns Man into Passionate Johnny Cash Fan

A 58-year old man with severe obsessive-compulsive disorder underwent deep brain stimulation--a procedure which placed an electrical implant in his brain. This implant sent impulses to selected areas of his brain. It worked--even better than you could expect. From inside his mind, the patient could see the Man in Black. Mariska Mantione and her colleagues described the experience in an article in Frontier in Behavioural Neuroscience:

“Half year after DBS surgery, Mr B stated that he was turning into a Johnny Cash fan. He had been listening to the radio, when he coincidentally heard Ring of Fire of the Country and Western singer and experienced that he was deeply affected by the song. Mr B started to listen to more songs of Johnny Cash and noticed that he was deeply moved by the raw and low-pitched voice of the singer,” researchers wrote. “Mr B reported that he felt good following treatment with DBS and that the songs of Johnny Cash made him feel even better. From this moment on, Mr. B. kept listening simply and solely to Johnny Cash and bought all his CD’s and DVD’s … From the first time Mr B heard a Johnny Cash song, [all other music] has been banned.”

What caused this association? The researchers aren’t sure. But they noticed that once they turned the implant off, the patient lost interest in Johnny Cash:

“His former musical taste reoccurred immediately when stimulation was interrupted due to battery depletion, suggesting a direct causal link between musical preference and stimulation of the accumbens (in the brain),” the researchers said.


(Video Link)

-via Dave Barry


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So the procedure to turn off his obsessive-compulsive behavior ended up with him becoming obsessive about Johnny Cash? Seems to me that the treatment wasn't entirely successful.
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