British Universities Film & Video Council

moving image and sound, knowledge and access

Meet Your Brain (3 Parts)

Synopsis
In the 2011 series of Royal Institution Christmas Lectures, experimental psychologist Professor Bruce Hood delivers three, 60-minute lectures on the human brain. In the last few years, science has started to reveal more about how our brains work, and these three lectures discuss how these remarkable organs make us truly human. Professor Hood looks at how you create your own version of reality, what makes your brain decide what information to trust and what to ignore (without you even knowing!) and why you are programmed to read other people’s minds.

Lecture 1: What’s in Your head
Lecture 2 Who’s in charge here anyway?
Lecture 3: Are You thinking what I’m thinking?

Illusions, demonstrations and transcripts from the lectures are also available via the website.
Series
Royal Institution Christmas Lectures, Series
Language
English
Country
Great Britain
Year of release
2012
Year of production
2011
Notes
Broadcast on 27, 28, 29 December 2011 on BBC4
Subjects
Biology; Psychology
Keywords
brain; neurobiology; perception; cognitive neuroscience

Online availability

URI
http://richannel.org/christmas-lectures/2011/meet-your-brain
Price
free
Delivery
Streamed

Credits

Contributor
Bruce Hood

Sections

Title
What’s in your Head?
Synopsis
Your brain may look like a big walnut, but it has the ability to create an almost unlimited stream of images, thoughts, memories and dreams. Undoubtedly the most complex material in the universe, and yet it’s just a collection of simple cells. Join us as we get under your skull and take a peek inside. What do brainwaves look like? How fast is a neuron? Why does your brain create its own version of reality?

Bruce uses technology to measure brain activity and follow eye movement, build a virtual brain out of audience volunteers and play some guessing games with your mind. In the process, he shows how everything you perceive is just an interpretation of the nerve impulses that your brain receives - which isn’t really that much. Ultimately, we are all experts at filling in the blanks.

Title
Who’s in charge here anyway?
Synopsis
Your conscious thoughts are only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to all the activity going on inside your head. Every minute your brain is bombarded with information - sights, sounds, smells, feelings - and you are aware of only a tiny fraction of it. How does your brain decide what to trust and what to ignore, all without you even knowing? What sneaky shortcuts does it take to speed up your mental ability? Why is multi-tasking so dangerous?
Using some surprising illusions and lots of audience participation, Bruce makes you say the wrong thing and fail to see what’s right in front of you. Can you really believe your eyes? Possibly not!

Title
Are you thinking what I’m thinking?
Synopsis
Have you ever seen a face in a piece of burnt toast? Why are our brains so obsessed with people-patterns? It’s not just other humans either, your brain likes to give a personality to anything that shows a hint of character; whether it’s your teddy bear, your pet fish or even your car. Yet there are elements of being human that prove virtually impossible to recreate artificially. Can a robot ever fall in love? With sensors to measure our response to some revealing live demonstrations, Bruce looks at what makes the human brain so special and how it is built to read other people’s minds. Why do you feel pain when somebody else gets hurt? What attracts you to another person? Are your eyes a window to your soul? Discover what makes us truly human.

Production Company

Name

Royal Institution of Great Britain

Phone
020 7409 2992
Fax
020 7629 3569
Address
LONDON
W1X 4BS

Distributor

Name

Ri Channel

Web
http://www.richannel.org External site opens in new window

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