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.
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.
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’
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.