Nova: Season 29, Episode 3

Secrets of the Mind (23 Oct. 2001)

TV Episode  |  Documentary, Biography
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A man who can "see" without seeing; amputees who feel pain in limbs that are gone; a man who believes his parents are impostors; and an epileptic who believes he is God: a neuroscientist gives the viewer insight into these strange cases.

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Episode cast overview:
Rena Baskin ...
Herself - Narrator
Graham Young ...
Himself - Man with Blindsight
Derek Steen ...
Himself - Victim of Phantom Limb Syndrome
John Sharon ...
Himself - Epileptic
David Silvera ...
Himself - Victim of Capgras Delusion
Vilayanur Ramachandran ...
Himself - Neuroscientist (as Dr. Vilanyur Ramachandran)
James Peacock ...
Himself - Victim of Phantom Limb Syndrome
Colin Blakemore ...
Himself - Oxford University
Peggy Palmer ...
Herself - Stroke Victim
Peter Halligan ...
Himself - University of Wales


Graham Young has a condition called "blindsight" that allows him to "see" things others can't see. Derek Steen and James Peacock are amputees with "phantom limb syndrome", which causes each of them to feel pain in a missing arm. John Sharon is an epileptic whose seizures give him overwhelming spiritual feelings, and sometimes even delude him into believing he is God. David Silvera suffers from a rare condition called the capgras delusion, which causes him to believe that his parents are impostors, his home is an exact duplicate of the real thing and even that he is a copy of his real self. Dr. V.S. Ramachandran, a neuroscientist, has investigated these cases and explains to the viewer what neuroscience can tell us about them and what these rare brain conditions can tell us about the normal brain. Written by J. Spurlin

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Release Date:

23 October 2001 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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