Carlos Rodriguez-the man with half a head-has been arrested yet again. The Florida man is reported to have set a mattress on fire in his duplex while two people were in the home, resulting in him being charged with attempted murder and arson.
Rodriguez was in the news back in 2010, when he was arrested for soliciting a prostitute. It wasn’t his actions though, that garnered so much attention but rather his head.
Rodriguez is missing half of his skull, something that he says he lost when he drove his car while high on drugs and crashed it into a pole. His mug shot got a lot of media attention when it was circulated.
While authorities are looking into whether or not Rodriguez might be suffering from some mental issues given the latest charges, the other question that a lot of people may be asking is how the heck can Rodriguez actually function in life with just half a head?
The answer is simple, and may be surprising.
According to science, we don’t actually need a whole head to get around, (although Rodriguez’s case may be an exception).
The brain is extremely plastic in nature, and adaptable.
This article in Scientific American describes how losing half your brain through an operation called a hemispherectomy, won’t actually alter your personality or memory.
Patients who suffer from an enormous amount of seizures every day are often candidates for this surgery. The seizures are ones that can’t be treated with medication and that occur primarily in just one half of the brain.
Removing the troubled half stops the debilitating seizures. The brain reassigns its lost roles and functions to new areas of the brain on the other side, so that what is left of it takes over for the half that disappeared.
And that is another one of the amazing things about being human!