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November 10, 2017

On the Table, the Brain Appeared Normal

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  • Neuroscience

The New York Times – The brain arrived in April, delivered to the basement of the hospital without ceremony, like all the others. There were a few differences with this one — not because it was more important, but because it was more notorious.

It went to the lab outside the city, instead of the one in Boston, where most of the examinations are performed these days, because it was less likely to attract attention that way. Instead of being carried in through the service entrance, it was ushered in secretly through the underground tunnel system. The brain was given a pseudonym, and only three people knew how to identify it.

Other than that, the brain came alone and disconnected from its past, unattached to its celebrity. The sordid details of the man’s rise and fall, the speculation over what went wrong, the debate over justice — all that was left behind for others to assess.

It was just a brain, not large or small, not deformed or extraordinary in appearance, an oblong and gelatinous coil weighing 1,573 grams, or about three and a half pounds, just carved from the skull of a 27-year-old man. The coroner took special care, and it arrived hours later in near-perfect condition.

Read more at The New York Times.

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