Ian Waterman

BBC Horizon programme ‘The Man Who Lost His Body’ from 1998 – overview:
  • Ian Waterman had a virus at 19 which left him unable to control his body (Youtube part 1, see below).
  • Eventually diagnosed as ‘sensory neuropathy’ (part 2).
  • Jonathan Cole, Universities of Southampton & Bournemouth.
  • Learned to control limbs again through visual feedback.
  • Persevered to recreate gesture.
  • Verves as ‘multi-strand’ fibres. Damage to main motor fibres.
  • Comparison with limb control of weightless astronauts (part 3).
  • Normal development of babies: thinking about movement and learning then becomes unconscious.
  • Charles Fried, Pittsburgh – virus at 60; less plasticity to compensate.
  • David McNeill, Chicago: Gesture – natural; synchronized with speech – instinctive to language.
  • Gesturing controlled by imagining where hands are (part 4).
  • Brain scanning with/without visual feedback – different parts of brain.
The programme is based on the book ‘Pride and a Daily Marathon’ by Jonathan Cole.
Part 1/4
Part 2/4
Part 3/4
Part 4/4
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