Would a brain transplant change your personality?

Fascinating stuff. Just about any medical impossibility will, in time, perhaps become possible. And I had to laugh at this:

*Not only could [the transplanted monkey] use its senses, it tried to bite the hand of a researcher.
I would, too!

You might be interested in the science documentary, The Thing with Two Heads. It started Rosie Greer, one fourth of the Fearsome Foursome of the L.A. Rams, and Ray Millard, who played the washed up actor who would do anything to make some cash.

This 1972 documentary covered a lot of scientific ground including which head controls the body, the use of animals in experiments, racism, unfairness in our justice system, and how many police cars can you crash in a two hour movie.

It’s the Blacksplotation film that time forgot!

Actually, time didn’t really forget. What really happened is that Time took it out to the woods for camping weekend and while it was out setting up the tents. Time jumped back in the car and zoomed off back home.

Speaking of science documentaries, I’m surprised no one has mentioned I Will Fear No Evil.

Indeed and of course 3rd season Star Trek worse episode Spock’s Brain.

Also the Steve Martin Classic: The Man with Two Brains

If that were the case, then transsexuality wouldn’t be a thing.

A simple concussion can change personality. Drugs, PTSD, hormones, steroids, all change personality. I think the resulting patient would have to be someone new. There are stories about people getting more usual transplants - heart, kidney, liver, and taking on traits of the donor. Our mind, seemingly, does not only reside in the brain.

Also, the conjoined twins with two heads, each have distinct personalities, even as they share a body below the neck.

Has this Slug Signorino ever been, you know, tested? Like by a mental health professional?

What got me is that they were able to control Spock entirely with that remote with just three buttons on it. I know one button was labeled raise left eyebrow and another labeled passive aggressive snarky remark, but what did that third button do?

Fervently wish for better scripts.

If it was like my watch, one button toggles through the menu, the second button toggles features within each menu, the third button resets the individual features once they are selected.

Now writing the code tree to fit everything into a three button architecture - that is the real brains.

Especially tricky as the remote had no visible readout that I recall. (Please don’t make me watch it again to confirm.)

There was no need for a visible readout. You press a button on the remote and watch how Spock acts. On second thought, it could have used a visible readout.

It’s not so bad once you make a drinking game out of it.


One of Robert Heinlein’s later books, “I Will Fear No Evil”, works with some of the theories discussed.

Basic plot as relates to this:
OLD rich guy, with a pretty secretary, is tired of living as an invalid, rigorously kept alive due to his corporate position. He arranges to have his brain transplanted to a donor body, by an experimental surgery, as a sneaky method of suicide. It “fails.” He is shocked to discover that the donor is his secretary, killed in an accident. Whether through delusion or personality being resident in more than the brain, she’s still in there with him. “They” can use complex motor skills she had, as long as he doesn’t think about it.

Unfortunately, it is, in my opinion, his worst book; the only one I would not recommend. :frowning: YMMV

MODERATOR NOTE: MacLir, since there already was a thread on Cecil’s column on brain transplants, I’ve merged the threads, just to keep similar topics together. OK?

Certainly. I thought I was posting to that thread. :confused:

[shrug of shoulders]No prob. You may have intended that, but it came out as a new thread which is now merged. No worries.