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Losing TouchA man without his body$
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Jonathan Cole

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780198778875

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198778875.001.0001

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Z-axis and the Tombstone

Z-axis and the Tombstone

(p.26) 2 Z-axis and the Tombstone
Losing Touch

Jonathan Cole

Oxford University Press

This chapter begins with Ian’s first foreign research trip, to Germany. His memories of the trip are extraordinary; even 30 years later they are of the moves he made and the nature of the built environment he had to navigate; his geospatial memory is uniquely detailed and vivid. The experiments in Germany were difficult: among other things Ian was hoisted 10 feet in the air to be strapped to a turntable and then spun round in the dark. Later, in Oxford, the experiments were gentler and he dined at High Table at Christ Church. There he met Peter Matthews, FRS, a professor whose life’s work was on muscle spindles, the peripheral origin of proprioception which Ian lacked. Matthews’ fascination gave a clue to Ian’s engagement with science, despite its hardships: neuroscientists understood and appreciated Ian’s condition and his achievement in a way others could not.

Keywords:   whole-body orientation, Z-axis, secondary hyperalgesia, muscle spindles, PBC Matthews

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