Yesterday, Bruce e-mailed me an article about a straight rugby player who, after “breaking his neck and suffering the stroke”, woke to find that he preferred men to his fiancée. After attempting a back flip, the then-straight man “fell down a grass bank” where he sustained the injuries:
He was taken to hospital where his fiancée and family spent days waiting anxiously at his bedside before he delivered the shocking news.
Mr Birch recalled: ‘I was gay when I woke up and I still am. It sounds strange but when I came round I immediately felt different.
‘I wasn’t interested in women any more. I was definitely gay. I had never been attracted to a man before – I’d never even had any gay friends.
It’s doubtful we could learn much about the nature of our homosexual feelings by studying images of his brain unless scans had been taken before he sustained the injury (then we could see what parts had changed).
And this is not the only case where strokes have changed individuals’ personalities — or given them (gave them access to?) skills which they previously lacked — or of which they had previously been unaware. Wonder if there are other stories of strokes changing an individual’s sexual orientation — and what scientists learned from that.
Time to e-mail my favorite neurosurgeon (my older brother).