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Wrong Anneliese Pontius?

Anneliese A. Pontius

Associate Clinical Professor of Psychiatry

Harvard University

Email: a***@***.edu

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I agree to the Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. I understand that I will receive a subscription to ZoomInfo Community Edition at no charge in exchange for downloading and installing the ZoomInfo Contact Contributor utility which, among other features, involves sharing my business contacts as well as headers and signature blocks from emails that I receive.

Harvard University

12 Oxford St. # 373

Cambridge, Massachusetts,02138

United States

Company Description

The Harvard Art Museums, among the world's leading art institutions, comprise three museums (Fogg, Busch-Reisinger, and Arthur M. Sackler) and four research centers (Straus Center for Conservation and Technical Studies, the Center for the Technical Study of ...more

Background Information

Employment History

Psychiatrist

Harvard Companies, Inc.


Professor

Neuroeducation


Web References(14 Total References)


lizzieandrewborden.com

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 of schizophrenia, who "returned home from a hitchhiking journey to find his brother in the kitchen receiving lessons from a home instructor. According to Pontius, the crimes are the tragic result of "electrical storms"-or seizures-in a constellation of brain structures known collectively as the limbic system. Normally, the limbic system, which mediates the basic drives of eating, sex and predation, is under the control of the ponderous frontal lobes. The frontal lobes filter the impulses generated by the limbic system, okaying some, disallowing others. However, during a seizure, the limbic system may shake loose from the frontal behemoth, essentially bypassing the "permission" of the normally dominant frontal lobes, resulting in an uncensored-and irrational-drive to kill. Pontius believes that random, though highly specific, external stimuli-such as a meaningful photograph or library card, or a bodily movement, such as reaching into a pocket-revive old memories that in turn ignite the limbic storm. They long for human contact," Pontius says, adding that their social isolation prevented them from releasing old memories. None had any reason to kill; many attacks, such as the fly-fishing case, were against total strangers in full view of witnesses. All felt no emotion while committing their crimes. "Like the animal who kills doesn't hate his prey," Pontius says. "Normally, the frontal lobe is very much in control to give us decent socialized behavior," she explains. What helps trigger the electrical storm, she believes, is the abnormal social isolation of these people. Pontius believes that although people who commit crimes as a result of limbic seizures are aware of what they are doing, they are not, in a legal sense, "responsible" for their actions.


www.dana.org [cached]

Posted on behalf of Anneliese A. Pontius:
Anneliese A. Pontius, M.D., Associate Clinical Professor (ret.), Harvard Medical School


lizzieandrewborden.com [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 [...]


lizzieandrewborden.com [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 of schizophrenia, who "returned home from a hitchhiking journey to find his brother in the kitchen receiving lessons from a home instructor.According to Pontius, the crimes are the tragic result of "electrical storms"-or seizures-in a constellation of brain structures known collectively as the limbic system.Normally, the limbic system, which mediates the basic drives of eating, sex and predation, is under the control of the ponderous frontal lobes.The frontal lobes filter the impulses generated by the limbic system, okaying some, disallowing others.However, during a seizure, the limbic system may shake loose from the frontal behemoth, essentially bypassing the "permission" of the normally dominant frontal lobes, resulting in an uncensored-and irrational-drive to kill.Pontius believes that random, though highly specific, external stimuli-such as a meaningful photograph or library card, or a bodily movement, such as reaching into a pocket-revive old memories that in turn ignite the limbic storm.During limbic seizures, the normal balance between the frontal lobe and the limbic system is thrown off, leading to uncharacteristically violent behavior.The limbic system is composed of the dark-shaded structures in the center of the brain.Is it possible that this syndrome also explains the Borden murders?All the crimes were committed by men with few social contacts.Only a few had a history of schizophrenia."These are basically loners.They long for human contact," Pontius says, adding that their social isolation prevented them from releasing old memories.None had any reason to kill; many attacks, such as the fly-fishing case, were against total strangers in full view of witnesses.All felt no emotion while committing their crimes."Like the animal who kills doesn't hate his prey," Pontius says."Normally, the frontal lobe is very much in control to give us decent socialized behavior," she explains.What helps trigger the electrical storm, she believes, is the abnormal social isolation of these people.Pontius believes that although people who commit crimes as a result of limbic seizures are aware of what they are doing, they are not, in a legal sense, "responsible" for their actions.Read the whole piece here.


lindane.org [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."


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