Design a site like this with
Get started


You are six years old and getting ready for bed. You hear your mother and father yelling at each other. You are frightened and your stomach Is in a knot. You and your younger brother and sister are huddled athe top o the stairs.


You look over the banister and see your father holding your mother’s arms while she struggles to free herself. Your mother is erving spiting and hissing like an animal. Your face is flushed and you Tel hot all over.


When your mother frees herself, she runs to the dining
room and breaks a very expensive Chinese vase. You yell at your parents to stop, but they ignore you. Your mom runs upstairs and you hear her breaking the TV. Your little brother and sister try to get her to hide in the closet. Your heart pounds and you are trembling.


At this first session we explained the purpose of the radioactive oxygen the participants would be breathing: As any part of the brain became more or less metabolically active, its rate of oxygen consumption would immediately change, whichwould be picked up by the scanner.


We would monitor their blood pressure and heart rate throughout the procedure, so that these physiological signs could be compared with brain activity.

Several days later the participants came to the imaging lab. Marsha, a forty-year-old schoolteacher from a suburb outside of Boston, was the firstvolunteer to be scanned.


Her script took her back to the day, thirteen years
earlier, when she picked up her five-year-old daughter, Melissa, from day camp. As they drove off, Marsha heard a persistent beeping, indicating that Melissa’s seatbelt was not properly fastened. When Marsha reached over to adjust the belt, she ran a red light. Another car smashed into hers from the right, instantly killing her daughter.

In the ambulance on the way to the emergency room, the seven-month-old fetus Marsha was carrying also died.
Overnight Marsha had changed from a cheerful woman who was the life of the party into a haunted and depressed person filled with self-blame.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: