The Pleasure Shock

The Pleasure Shock

The Rise of Deep Brain Stimulation and Its Forgotten Inventor

Book - 2018
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Penguin Putnam
The electrifying, forgotten history of Robert Heath's brain pacemaker, investigating the origins and ethics of one of today's most promising medical breakthroughs: deep brain stimulation

The technology invented by psychiatrist Robert G. Heath in the 1950s and '60s has been described as among the most controversial experiments in US history. His work was alleged at the time to be part of MKUltra, the CIA's notorious "mind control" project. His research subjects included incarcerated convicts and gay men who wished to be "cured" of their sexual preference. Yet his cutting-edge research and legacy were quickly buried deep in Tulane University's archives. Investigative science journalist Lone Frank now tells the complete sage of this passionate, determined doctor and his groundbreaking neuroscience.

More than fifty years after Heath's experiments, this very same treatment is becoming mainstream practice in modern psychiatry for everything from schizophrenia, anorexia, and compulsive behavior to depression, Parkinson's, and even substance addiction.

Lone Frank uncovered lost documents and accounts of Heath's trailblazing work. She tracked down surviving colleagues and patients, and she delved into the current support for deep brain stimulation by scientists and patients alike. What has changed? Why do we today unquestioningly embrace this technology as a cure? How do we decide what is a disease of the brain to be cured and what should be allowed to remain unrobed and unprodded? And how do we weigh the decades of criticism against the promise of treatment that could be offered to millions of patients?

Elegantly written and deeply fascinating, The Pleasure Shock weaves together biography, scientific history, and medical ethics. It is an adventure into our ever-shifting views of the mind and the fateful power we wield when we tinker with the self.

Baker & Taylor
An assessment of Tulane psychiatrist Robert G. Heath's brain-pacemaker experiments examines his controversial work, allegedly part of the CIA's notorious "mind control" project, and discusses how his work has been adapted as mainstream therapies for mental illness and addiction.

Baker
& Taylor

"The story of a medical pioneer, his fall, and his haunting legacy. The technology invented by psychiatrist Robert G. Heath in the 1950s and '60s has been described as among the most controversial experiments in US history. His work was alleged at the time to be part of MKUltra, the CIA's notorious "mind control" project. His research subjects included incarcerated convicts and gay men who wished to be "cured" of their sexual preference. Yet his cutting-edge research and legacy were quickly buried deep in Tulane University's archives. Investigative science journalist Lone Frank now tells the complete saga of this passionate, determined doctor and his groundbreaking neuroscience. More than fifty years after Heath's experiments, this very same treatment isbecoming mainstream practice in modern psychiatry for everything from schizophrenia, anorexia, and compulsive behavior to depression. Parkinson's, and even substance addiction. Lone Frank uncovered lost documents and accounts of Heath's trailblazing work. She tracked down surviving colleagues and patients, and she delved into the current support for deep brain stimulation by scientists and patients alike. What has changed? Why do we today unquestioningly embrace this technology as a cure? How do we decide what is a disease of the brain to be cured and what should be allowed to remain unprobed and unprodded? And how do we weigh the decades of criticism against the promise of treatment that could be offered to millions of patients? Elegantly written and deeply fascinating, The Pleasure Shock weaves together biography, scientific history, and medical ethics. It is an adventure into our ever-shifting views of the mind and the fateful power we wield when we tinker with the self."--
An assessment of mid-20th-century Tulane psychiatrist Robert G. Heath's brain-pacemaker experiments shares insights into his controversial work with convicts, members of the gay community and the CIA's notorious "mind control" project and how much of his work has been suppressed or adapted as mainstream therapies for mental illness and addiction. By the award-winning author of My Beautiful Genome.

Publisher: New York, New York : Dutton, [2018]
ISBN: 9781101986530
1101986530
Branch Call Number: 616.8046 FRA
Characteristics: x, 307 pages ; 24 cm

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