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Secrets of the Mind

Program Overview


Dr. Vilayanur Ramachandran, a world leader in brain science, explores four patients with unusual delusional symptoms and shows how their cases have implications for the way in which all humans understand their world.

The program:

  • relates that Ramachandran's work has revealed clues about how certain brain structures control fundamental thought processes.

  • describes the doctor's work with patients in whom the brain's parietal lobes—which control spatial understanding and visual recognition—have been damaged through injury or stroke.

  • profiles Ramachandran's patients: One man who has lost an arm in a motorcycle accident continues to feel phantom sensations in his missing limb; a female stroke victim who has a problem in sensing any activity on one side of her field of view; a young man with a head injury who believes his parents are impostors; and another young man with temporal lobe epilepsy who has seizures and hallucinations that produce profound spiritual feelings.

  • concludes with questions about whether human brains are hard-wired for certain types of thoughts.

Teacher's Guide
Secrets of the Mind
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