To a era of Canadians, “I scent burnt toast!” method one thing very explicit, and ominous. It manner they’re having a seizure. Nowadays’s Google doodle celebrates the 127th birthday of Wilder Penfield, the person in the back of that atypical cultural reference and, more importantly, a groundbreaking neurosurgeon who pioneered new therapies for epilepsy.
Although lately a Canadian icon, Penfield was once if truth be told born and raised within the United States and moved to Montreal in 1928, at age 37. There, he invented the Montreal process for patients with severe epilepsy. The patient continues to be awake underneath local anesthesia, even as the physician stimulates quite a lot of portions in their brain tissue. The affected person can then supply real-time feedback approximately what they’re feeling, which helps the medical doctors smash the nerve cells which are inflicting the seizures.
So what’s with the burnt toast? the primary patient to go through the Montreal process stated smelling burnt toast whilst no such factor was once happening. Later, this was once dramatized in a short and widely performed clip explaining Penfield’s work. It’s in point of fact something. See for your self:
Penfield’s experiments with stimulating other portions of the brains helped us learn to map its different sensory areas and he also was immortalized in the Philip K. Dick novel Do Androids Dream Of Electrical Sheep? which features a Penfield mood organ — you simply press a button and feel exactly what you wish to have.