Documentary Summary Secrets of the Mind


DocumentarySummary: Secretsof the Mind


DocumentarySummary: Secretsof the Mind

Theway people’s brain works, and why it works the way it does, are keyquestions towards understanding of human brain by many researchers.In addition, what affects the functions of the brain has been one ofthe major areas to have been researched on. New technologies havebeen invented which has led to the shedding of light on the biology’sunresolved mystery ‘how the brain really works’. ‘Secrets ofthe Mind’ are one of the documentaries to have been producedaddressing how people brain functions and interprets the world aroundthem. More so, the documentary has addressed the impact of damage tocells that makes the human brain. Produced in December 2004, thedocumentary gives a view of the human brain, and how it functions(YouTube,2014).This paper summarizes different aspects of the documentary focusingon the parts that are fascinating to me.

Understandinghuman brains remain one of the ultimate challenges in science. Withreference to the documentary, ‘secretes of the mind’ Dr.Ramachandran focuses his research on understanding how the humanbrain works. Through his demonstrations, different puzzling findingsare explained. The documentary commences with a focus on the personwith one amputated hand. One disturbing finding as explained by thevictim is that he continues to feel the pain in his hand, despite thehand (limb) being absent. Normally, this would be seen asimpossibility, however, with doctor Ramachandran explanation, itbecomes easier to understand how this is possible. The brain has thewhole body map registered, and every organ has a correspondingrepresentation in the brain (YouTube,2014).However, after the hand is removed, the sensory part of the braindedicated to the hand, continues to function, however, with continuedun-usability (due to the absence of the hand) the sensory party isoccupied by another body organ. This explains, according to one ofthe victims with an amputated arm, could feel like his arm was stillthere when the face was touched despite not being the case.

Thefunctionality of the brain is somewhat complicated. Different peoplehave different brain damage and behave differently from what peoplewould call normal. Another fascinating finding is the ability of ablind person to see. Despite being a rare case, the brain has theability to see even when one is blind. This is a condition known as‘blind sight’ whereby the brain, sight related neurons functionlike the case of reptiles. In addition to blind sight, another sightrelated condition is ‘visual neglect’. This is whereby, despiteone`s visual ability being fine, one side is neglected over theother. According to the doctor, the brain damage is related to thevisual ability whereby the patient is unable to respond to his/herleft environment which is totally ignored by the brain (mentalimage). The Visual ability of an individual impacts the consciousnessof the environment and the world surrounding him/her (YouTube,2014).Finally, there is the cap grass illusion, a condition that is mostpuzzling as it brings along confusions of one’s real and commonenvironment as well as the people surrounding him. For example, thedocumentary focuses on David case, who sometimes perceives as if hisown parents aren’t the real ones, has a house is a fake one. Thisis despite being in the same house several times, and also being withhis father/mother more than once (the imposter theory). The conditionmakes him feel there was another original father, other than whoeveris seeing. This is attributed to the wrong emotional responseregistered in the brain. This is referred as ‘capgras delusion’and affects the emotions.

Inconclusion, the documentary has demonstrated the different impact ofbrain damage with regard to how people change and perceive theenvironment. The brain is regarded as the most complex form ofmatter, and with its more than 100 billion nerves every brainfunction has its dedicated function (YouTube,2014).Once the primary function of a brain interferes, the response isabnormal behavior and conditions. For example the case of strokeaffecting left side vision such as the case of Peggy Palmer in thedocumentary. The video remains an ideal tool for one to understandingthe complexity of the human brain and with the use of real lifecases, the explanation of the different human behavior becomes veryfascinating.


YouTube(2014). Secrets of the Mind Nova HD. Retrieved June 26, 2016, from