In Secrets of the Mind we gain insights through various tragedies that have affected others, thanks to the logic and insights of Professor Ramachandran regarding what he calls the most complex organized matter in the universe.
The documentary begins with “phantom limb syndrome” – pain and sensation in missing body areas. Ramachandran’s reasoning, confirmed through a CAT-scan, is that the brain has a map of various body areas, and that eg. the right arm and right face areas of the brain are adjacent. Thus, missing body areas can lead to interference by those associated brain areas trying to cope with stimulus deprivation – eg. “cross-wiring.”
The plumbing that brought hot water to the communal baths the Romans enjoyed was highly sophisticated. In this section, watch as NOVA builds its own Roman bath, then try your hand at constructing a working aqueduct online. Also, learn about the Romans’ water system from a noted scholar, and get a taste of Roman-era recipes such as scaloppine pine nut sauce.
This remote Pacific island’s so-called moai statues are among the world’s most enigmatic sculptures. In this section, explore an interactive map of Easter Island to find out where ancient residents quarried and moved the famous monoliths. Also, follow recent attempts by NOVA and others to transport moai overland.
The soaring stone monuments known as obelisks were the Egyptian pharaohs’ way of capturing a ray of revered sunlight in stone. In this section, follow NOVA’s ultimately successful attempts to raise an obelisk of its own. Also, learn where ancient Egypt’s obelisks have ended up today.