Summary: The Man Who Mistook His Wife For A Hat

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I have never experienced something like “The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat”. The case that Oliver Sacks describes is very peculiar. In this chapter, he introduced a man, Dr. P, who was a singer and a teacher at a school of music.
Dr. P had some strange symptoms. When speaking to others, Dr. P could not recognize people by their face, only when a person started to speak could he or she be recognized. Dr. P also confused objects for people. Walking down the street, he may pat the top of a fire hydrant and think that he was speaking to a small child. Even simple objects couldn’t be recognized. Upon examination, Dr. P could not tell the difference between his foot and his shoe, or even name a glove until he put it on. If Dr. P was doing a task, like getting dressed, he must be singing in order to accomplish it. Also, Dr. P had a hard time recognizing pictures of landscapes and facial expressions. Finally, Dr. P had weak reflexes and sight on the left side of his body and impaired visualization of objects and faces. All of these symptoms where exemplified by his paintings. Every few years Dr. P would present a painting to the school he worked at, and at first his paintings where very concreate. But, as time moved on his paintings shifted from concreate, to abstract, to nonsense. I
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P had a condition called visual agnosia. Visual agnosia, in its simplest form, is an inability to recognize or interpret visual information. Dr. Sacks was unsure of the cause, and said that the culprit was probably a massive tumor or a degenerative disease. Because music and singing where the only anchor Dr. P had that connected him to his tasks, Dr. Sacks had told his patient his only treatment was to make music a part of everything in his life. I don’t think Dr. P had any problem with that as his whole life involved music. It is sad that Dr. Sacks couldn’t actually treat Dr. P’s disease. My guess would be that his visual agnosia is degenerative and will only get