The Daily Rhino
Diagnosis: Alien Mind Control
JUST as archaic religious/superstitious beliefs are being usurped as science explains the world around us, modern myths like aliens can be rationally explained away. I knew there was a use for medical research and now I've found it.
America's deep South is clearly the home of the human race's finest specimens, for why else would aliens abduct grits-munching yokels more than anyone else? Irrespective of the validity of the abductees’ claims, one striking feature emerges; they all describe the same alien. Grey skin, lightbulb heads, no ears, big eyes, pointy chins and flat noses, a bit like the chap shown here. New evidence has now shed some light on the reality behind these other-wordly claims. A US Air Force Academy psychologist named Frederick Malmstrom has claimed that these people are not describing aliens, but are actually remembering their mommy.
Dr Malmstrom believes that the in-built mammilian 'mother' template is being accessed inappropriately. Wee babies take several weeks to develop the ability to differentiate between different people. They do, however, have the ability to recognise a face as ‘human’ from Day 1. All that you need are two eyes and a nose. This is why babies react to a mask or a cuddly toy the same way they do to a real face. But put three noses or one eye on the mask or toy and the baby isn’t interested. Colour vision also takes several weeks to develop, so babies under two months see things in greyscale.
With this in mind, Malmstrom created an image of a woman as seen by a two week old baby. The strange result, as published in The Skeptic (fantastic mag), is distinctly alienesque. The eyes are over-sized and tilted up, the nose is flat and the skin is grey. It is believed that this template is accessed whilst in a state of neurological confusion, such as under hypnosis or when half asleep.
Alien hand, alien limb, anarchic hand, Dr Strangelove Syndrome - all names for a bizarre neurological condition where arguments take place between one person's limbs, first noted in 1909.
Neurological insults that cause involuntary movements are legion; chorea-inducing conditions have been documented long into the past. However, the fascinating thing about anarchic hand is that the affected hand or limb seems to take on a personality of its own, much like Peter Sellers' hand used to, awfully embarrassingly, salute Hitler at rather awkward moments. It's a very rare affliction with a few dozen recorded cases, but Surgical Neurology, has recently documented a new case of anarchic hand from Japan (subscription needed).
Central to the idea of anarchic hand is that the human body is thought to operate by a system of free won't, not free will. Thus conscious and subconscious signals are required to move - and NOT move - our limbs as we wish. Anarchic hand is not a psychiatric diagnosis; it's not a disorder of 'the mind', but purely a result of an injury to a specific part of the frontal lobe. This knowledge has only been gained recently, with the advent of more advanced imaging and diagnosis - coupled with specific history-taking. Hence, it is possible that patients suffering from anarchic limb in the past, perhaps post-stroke, would have been institutionalised as being possessed or just a loonie.
Cases include one hand 'fighting' with the other for control of a TV remote control, a patient who frequently has to stop one hand strangling him and a woman whose hand shoves fishbones into its owners mouth at a posh restaurant. In contrast to the far more common limb-neglect which can occur after a stroke, the patient is always fully aware their hand is their own, but they feel as though they have no control over it. They can hit the affected hand, sit on it, shout at it or shake it - but as you can imagine, it can be an incredibly distressing condition.
Like all incredibly rare neurological conditions, there's stacks on the Internet about anarchic hand. Try here or here to begin with, if you want to learn more.
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