March ’67 Annette Day, Co-Star of Double Trouble, is given a white Mustang by Elvis
10 March ’67 Elvis had a mild concussion after he slipped in the bathroom
The following is a narrative following the perceptions. of what occurs within certain vestibular networks disturbed after a mild concussion. Elvis was one of the most famous individual’s on our planet during his spectacular musical career. But he had a non-public side too, like we all do, Elvis wasn’t ON all the time. He liked peanut butter and jam sandwiches and yet he could slip in the bathtub just like anyone. I am basing the facts on our brain timeline of 2012 not on Elvis timeline during 1967.
Elvis had a balanced self image of himself, he preened in front of the cameras and flirted onstage with his screaming fans. But what happened to Elvis image of himself after the slip in the bathroom, what happened to his self image? I’ve made a reference in past essays about how all mammals are symmetric we share the same body form from about 800 million years ago. There’s a right side and a left side to the universe. Elvis was very much a component within that universe. Except after the concussion his self image shifted, he no longer walked straight, he actually walked a little crooked as if he was drunk, especially if he looked up while walking. He had to stop and gather the balance around him.
1st May ’67 Elvis and Prescilla were married at a private ceremony at the Aladdin Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada
There were at many times a posse of crony friends always hovering around Elvis at all hours. ” I’ll be OK,” he might have stammered to no one in particular , “Just a little spin in the head, I’ll be OK.”
2nd-6th May ’67 Elvis and Priscilla had their honeymoon in Palm Springs then went to their Circle G Ranch with some members of the Memphis Mafia.
Elvis vestibular system was classically associated with his postural control, oculomotor reflexes especially his self-motion perception. Elvis had acute control of his self motion especially through his pelvis motions. Those stage gyrations could make women swoon from bursting wet emotion. Since the concussion Elvis had suffered a vestibular loss and was primarily concerned with his erratic balance and walking, referring to one of his favorite horses he called it, ..’his gait problems.’ Both his head and trunk tilted and his walking trajectory was like a deviated NASA Mercury rocket wandering off course, canted in favor with the tub side hit to his head. Elvis long-lasting postural and locomotor biases are thought to originate from changes in Elvis spatial representation of his singer stage image, his performer body, out there in front of the crowd. Vestibular cues were very necessary for Elvis to have had an accurate representation of where his body orientation was on that stage. Yet during this time, Elvis manager, The Colonel, kept constantly reminding Elvis to keep straight ahead. How would we have tested Elvis now?
We would test his vestibular system to show him how his representation of his body exists in space. We would show Elvis how his body representation shifted from that magical midline position that his body oriented before his concussion. We would show Elvis that yes indeed he did walk sideways as a way to compensate to the imaginary shifted form Elvis held in his head of himself after his concussion. Elvis never got back that balanced mid lined feeling again in his eyes, he learned to compensate but you’d never know it by watching him. If you’re playing medical detective which side did Elvis hit his head onto the tub when he slipped left or right? From Elvis walking behavior I’d pick his left side that hit.
7th May ’67 Prescilla and Elvis moved into their new home in Beverley Hills.
Depending if the concussion contact lesion is on the left or the right different specific symptoms reveal themselves because it looks like our vestibular function is actually asymmetric. What’s going on here? We have symmetric body parts everything is a mirror image but the representation inside the brain isn’t symmetric, why ? It looks like there are definitely differences within the left and the right of the brain. So if one side, one hemisphere is struck ,very different patterns will reveal themselves, in terms of vestibular loss.
29th May ’67 Prescilla and Elvis had a second wedding at Graceland for their family and friends who were not able to attend their first wedding
June ’67 In a US magazine there was a story suggesting that Elvis and Nancy Sinatra had a romantic involvement
Studies on the vestibular system have now shown that a one-sided lesion yields a tonic imbalance of the peripheral inputs which contributes to stabilize those blue bedroom eyes, the full head with that wonderful sweep of hair and Elvis contorted body in space. Elvis himself noticed that even in the dark of his bedroom when all the cronies had left his body tilted to the right, he could feel the squeeze when he tried to align himself to a wall. “I’m permanently tilted it’s like the stage is no longer horizontal,” he whispered to himself.
9th September ’67 Leaving Priscilla in Bel Air, Elvis had to fly to Nashville November The cover of a magazine which featured Elvis reported that Elvis was to be a Dad
Loss of Elvis vestibular sensory inputs affected his posture as a loss of balance his oculomotor (this can affect as nystagmus and wobbling of the eyes, oscillopsia) and his nausea, especially after his flight to Nashville, Elvis was very dizzy complaining of vertigo when he left the airplane. The cronies just replied their usual mantra, “It’s all in your head, Elvis, in your head, ” they crooned . The tilt that Elvis felt in the dark is termed cyclotorsion involving motor deficits biasing his head and trunk into deviating his locomotion path, just like that wayward Mercury rocket. With time these spectacular changes decreased with time as Elvis brain taught itself to compensate.
A classical test of body orientation as a way to investigate the role of vestibular signals is the subjective straight ahead test (SSA), which consists of indicating the the position of the mid-saggital plane pointing it out manually (proprioceptive SSA), or by stopping a moving visual target when it reaches this plane (visual SSA).If Elvis neck had been vibrated on the side of his concussion lesion his left leaning deviation would have abnormally increased. Did Elvis perception of his deviation depend on his head or his trunk and did the concussion induced error reflect a translation or a rotation of his body image representation? To help solve the various difficulties and complexities to tease out the vestibular error has been solved by modern investigators who use a more detailed method by marking with a luminous rod the intersections of the subjective mid sagittal plane with the horizontal plane. The testing surfaces involved a table marked with the intersection of the two lines as the horizontal perception test. The frontal plane was to line up the two intersections on a vertical wall as the frontal plane test.
3rd December ’67 The RCA radio station has a special radio show for Elvis called Seasons Greetings from Elvis
When Elvis aligned the rod the deviation was greater with his head axis compared to his trunk axis.This is exactly how Elvis perceived himself as translated and tilted to the right especially also in the dark of his bedroom.The other potential explanation is that Elvis felt his body was actually disproportionately enlarged, as an expanded representation. If the concussion lesion had occurred on the right side of Elvis brain no differences in head stabilization would have occurred plus neither would he have perceived any differences.
December ’67 Elvis hired a club in Memphis with 500 guests for a New Years Eve party even though he did not make an appearance. Elvis received a Grammy for Best Sacred performance in How Great Thou Art. A pop poll named him Number One Male Singer and Music Personality in the US
Vestibular receiving areas are centered on the temporo-parietal junction and the posterior insula extending to the somatosensory cortex, posterior parietal cortex, anterior insula and to the lateral and medial frontal cortices. Positron emission tomography studies of one-sided caloric studies in health humans vestibular responses predominantly project to the same hemisphere, the right hemisphere as the dominant side.
Elvis experienced vestibular errors following his mild left sided concussion after he slipped in his bathroom that influenced his perception of his body orientation in space. Until Elvis stopped performing he felt the stage leaning always to his right.
( I have taken strong artistic license toward shifting a very excellent research report : Where is straight ahead to a patient with unilateral vestibular loss? from Cortex XXX (2012) by Arnaud Saj, Jacques Honore, Laurenc Bernard-Demanze, Arnaud Deveze, Jacques Magnan,and Liliane Borel. Elvis did have a reported concussion on March 10, 1967, that much is known. I have brought words to Elvis mouth that were not spoken but have been spoken by those people having suffered a concussion. Somehow coming from Elvis we pay more attention to his vestibular error changes but the perceived vestibular errors I have outlined are very real. )