Someone with a better neuroscience background might be able to confirm that this is why the beam seems to have left his personality and intellectual ability in tact. Anyone?
In addition, abstract processing in the brain occurs over larger areas (think large neural networks). It is not established how exactly. It can be reasoned that to achieve some form of thought, followed by action, multiple sensory modalities have to be integrated. For this large, spatially divided, parts of the brain are necessary. Personality and intellect are therefore likely an emergent property of the entire network, not so much restricted to the frontal lobe.
It's a shame he is not thoroughly studied. I'm curious to see the actual extend of the damage. I hypothesize that his seizures are a product of plasticity around the damaged areas.
Considering the complexity of personality and behavior and our lack of understanding of their representation in the brain, I wonder how far we would get than this type of anecdotal evidence if given the change to investigate. Personality tests are mostly, if not completely useless.
An article explaining part of the reason why I'm suspicious: http://www.washingtonpost.com/posteverything/wp/2014/07/24/i...
EDIT: Also, one of the symptoms of Bell's palsy, which is a form of paralysis of the cranial nerves, is fewer wrinkles on the affected side of the face.
Simulated Large Hadron Collider CMS particle
detector data depicting a Higgs boson produced
by colliding protons decaying into hadron jets
There is also the issue of baryon number conservation. This is physical law (as far as we know) that says that the number of baryons must be constant. A proton is a baryon and neuron is a baryon but there are lots more. Anti-particles count negative so we can destroy a proton by combining it with an anti-proton, if we would happen to have one. But we cannot outright split the proton into some smaller set of parts as with an atom.
In the same way that the atom was not divisible 100 years ago?
Yes, they did:
Not a complete model, as we now know, but nonetheless, scientists did have a model of the atom 100 years ago.