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This profile was last updated on 7/1/15  and contains information from public web pages.

Dr. Anneliese A. Pontius

Wrong Dr. Anneliese A. Pontius?

Associate Clinical Professor of P...

Harvard Medical School

Employment History

  • Psychiatrist
    Harvard Medical School
  • Professor


  • M.D.
15 Total References
Web References
Dr Anneliese Pontius, an ..., 1 July 2015 [cached]
Dr Anneliese Pontius, an associate clinical professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, has a theory that islanders created the statues to counter the effects of leprosy. According to her hypothesis, the shock of seeing deformity on the features most important in social interaction (face, hand, fingers, arms) may have driven islanders to ritually 'undo' the damage by creating moai with over-corrected features. These efforts to reverse leprosy may have been in lieu of banishing the affected to other islands as they had been elsewhere (e.g. Hawaii, Molokai).
The symptoms of leprosy vs. their over-corrected moai equivalents are listed below, as described in Dr Pontius's paper Easter Island's Stone Giants: A Neuro-Psychiatric View.
Seizures, 20 Dec 2006 [cached]
Harvard psychiatrist Anneliese Pontius believes that some "loners" who commit senseless acts of violence are suffering from a seizure disorder she has dubbed "limbic psychotic trigger reaction."
‘Neuroeducation’ Emerges as Insights into Brain Development, Learning Abilities Grow - Dana Foundation, 15 June 2009 [cached]
Posted on behalf of Anneliese A. Pontius:
Anneliese A. Pontius, M.D., Associate Clinical Professor (ret.), Harvard Medical School
Crime Times- linking brain dysfunction to disordered/ criminal/ psychopathic behavior, 3 Jan 2008 [cached]
Harvard psychiatrist Anneliese Pontius believes that some "loners" who commit senseless acts of violence are suffering from a seizure disorder she has dubbed "limbic psychotic trigger reaction."
Pontius, who has examined hundreds of violent criminals, has documented the cases of 17 individuals she believes suffer from the syndrome. These individuals (13 murderers, three arsonists, and a bank robber) are characterized, she says, by the following pattern:
Because her subjects were "loners," Pontius believes they may have brooded continually over mild traumas or slights, rather than talking them over with friends or family, and that this brooding eventually "kindled" seizures when subjects were exposed to people or objects that triggered their obsessive memories.
While Pontius's theory is provocative, other researchers suggest that her subjects' violent outbursts stemmed not from "kindling," but from overt brain damage. Paul MacLean, of the National Institute of Mental Health, says, "I think there must be lesions of some kind in most of Pontius's cases; we just haven't seen them yet."
Pontius is not the first researcher to link a specific criminal behavior pattern to seizure activity.
"Retroductive reasoning in a proposed subtype of partial seizures, evoked by limbic `kindling,'" Anneliese A. Pontius, Psychological Reports, Vol. 76, 1995, pp. 55-62. Address: Anneliese A. Pontius, Department of Psychiatry, Massachusetts General Hospital, Fruit Street, Boston, MA 02114.
21 | September | 2006 | Mondo Lizzie Borden [cached]
The essay examines the work of Dr. Anneliese Pontius, associate clinical professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. For 15 years, Pontius has been piecing together clues to understand the bizarre behavior of a young man, with a history [...]
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