Segments in this Video

Understanding Phantom Sensations (10:15)


Dr. Vilayanur Ramachandran works with Derek Steen, an amputee patient who feels pain in his missing limb; he also feels sensations when shaving his face. Body image is a construct of the mind. Ramachandran explains his theory on sensations and Steen receives a brain scan.

Treating Phantom Pain (02:13)

Amputee patient James Peacock suffers excruciating pain in his phantom hand that was surgically removed. Dr. Ramachandran uses a mirror box to alleviate the pain.

Understanding Blindsight (08:01)

Dr. Ramachandran works with Graham Young who is one of the few known blindsight patients. Young can detect objects, but may not be aware of them. Collin Blakemore studies human consciousness; vision is not only seeing. Scientists discuss the neural pathways which observe aspects of vision.

Visual Neglect (05:30)

Half of Peggy Palmer's eyesight no longer functions normally as a result of a stroke in the parietal lobe of her brain. This condition also affects the spatial layout of her memories. Peter Halligan describes Palmer's condition; 30 areas of the brain control sight.

Capdraw Delusion (10:43)

David believes his parents are imposters and oftentimes does not recognize his home. Dr. Ramachandran talks about the emotional function of temporal lobes during visual processes. Scientists monitor David's emotional responses to images of individuals who are strangers and those he knows.

Temporal Lobe Epilepsy (08:37)

John Sharon had a violent seizure which led to a severe lapse in personality; he began to believe he was god and had created the world. The temporal lobe has access to strange emotions which may make an individual feel he or she is having an otherworldly experience.

Neurology and Religion (05:05)

The rebuilding of neural pathways in Sharon's brain made everything around him become emotionally salient and deeply significant. Ramachandran believes there may be a specific part of the temporal lobe that is conducive to religious belief. This function may have evolved to provide stability in society.

Credits: Secrets of the Mind (01:02)

Credits: Secrets of the Mind

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Secrets of the Mind

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NOVA profiles the work of eminent brain researcher Dr. V. S. Ramachandran, who studies patients with bizarre neurological deficits. A fan of Sherlock Holmes, Dr. Ramachandran finds simple but intriguing clues that reveal the deep structure of emotion, perception and consciousness.

Length: 55 minutes

Item#: FPT151123

Copyright date: ©2001

Closed Captioned

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