04 June 2004

Kluver - Bucy Syndrome

First in an occasional series on bizarre neurological disorders.

Damage to the front of the temporal lobe and the amygdala just below it can result in the strange condition called Kluver-Bucy Syndrome. Classically, the person will try to put anything to hand into their mouths and typically attempt to have sexual intercourse with it. A classic example is of the unfortunate chap arrested whilst attempting to have sex with the pavement. Effectively, it is the "what" pathway that is damaged with regards to foodstuff and sexual partner. As Ramachandran puts it, "they are not hypersexual, just indiscriminate. They [monkeys with surgically modified temporal lobes] have great difficulty in knowing what prey is, what a mate is, what food is and in general what the significance of any object might be."

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