Jonathan Cole, MA, MSc, DM, FRCP, FTPS, is a Consultant in Clinical Neurophysiology, University Hospital, Dorset and a visiting Professor at Bournemouth University.
Welcome to my website. I practise clinical medicine, empirical neuroscience research, and narrative approaches to living with various neurological conditions.
Here I detail them and try to explain why I undertake these parallel lives.
My day paid job involves seeing patients in hospital for diagnostic tests in neurological and other conditions.
I also do as much empirical neuroscience work as I can with a number of colleagues in the UK and around the world. I have also had opportunities to serve Clinical Neurophysiology societies through various offices.
I think it is necessary to understand neurological conditions from the first person perspective of those affected, and I have tried to do this through a number of books on their subjective experience.
Merleau-Ponty wrote that, ‘science manipulates things and has given up living in them.’ These two illuminate, in complementary ways, so I do both.
These works have appealed to others interested in what it is like to live with conditions which also throw light on more normal experience too. So, I am fortunate to have collaborated with figures from the media, arts, including theatre, performance art and choreography, leading to science/art projects which have reached many more people than my own work.
Along the way, I have taken some snaps as well, some of which we have uploaded for fun.
This website details these under books, clinical, neuroscience, media, collaborations and a photogallery.
I have the pleasure to thank two of our daughters, Celia and Georgia who have helped construct this website, and nudged me, repeatedly, into populating it.
Examples of my Work
I have written >120 peer reviewed papers, 60 chapters and given >180 invited lectures.
The Man Who Lost His Body
Though I have appeared on a number of TV and radio interviews in connection with books, the main media piece was the 1997 BBC Horizon documentary ‘The Man Who Lost His Body,’ about Ian Waterman and directed by Chris Rawlence.
I have explored neurological conditions from the perspective of those so affected and I have also documented this through a number of books on the subjective experience of various impairments.
Extended, deep accounts seem necessary to reflect not only what it is like to live with a condition, but also through this reflection allow us to understand ourselves in new ways too.
“A story at once terrifying and inspiring….It is a remarkable human document, a neurological epic. A case-history, a physiological investigation, a detective story and a romance.”Oliver Sacks review of ‘Pride and A Daily Marathon’
Collaborations in Science / Art
We are driven by curiosity but also by a desire to communicate. In scientific papers one hopes to interest colleagues, and by writing a wider if still small and select group. Collaborations with artists allows a different milieu entirely, and promises human portrayals of conditions otherwise largely described in word.