In the first episode, we explore the apparently very simple question: What is your brain? This is something humans have been struggling to understand for millennia and science for several decades.
Have you noticed how the full moon looks bigger on the horizon than high overhead? Actually, the two images are exactly the same size -- so why do we perceive them differently? Scientists aren't sure, but there are plenty of intriguing theories. Andrew Vanden Heuvel unravels the details of focus, distance and proportion that contribute to this mystifying optical illusion.
A new generation of technology is revolutionizing neuroscience, allowing a closer study of the brain than had ever seemed possible. The techniques are hybrids of optics, genetics, and synthetic biology with the ability to manipulate brain activity, often in real time. Through direct stimulation of neural connections, some of these techniques hold the promise for the treatment of diseases like depression or schizophrenia.
A plush country house is fixed with surveillance cameras while a group of unwitting test subjects are first exposed to youthful memories to test if it can improve their health. Dr Mosley takes them on this nostalgia trip with the help of neuroscientist Dr Jack Lewis and psychologist Anna Machin to determine how reliable memories really are.
Right now, billions of neurons in your brain are working together to generate a conscious experience -- and not just any conscious experience, your experience of the world around you and of yourself within it. How does this happen? According to neuroscientist Anil Seth, we're all hallucinating all the time; when we agree about our hallucinations, we call it "reality." Join Seth for a delightfully disorienting talk that may leave you questioning the very nature of your existence.
The best-selling authors of Super Brain, Dr. Deepak Chopra and Dr. Rudy Tanzi, describe the basic rules about how our brain functions. Your brain always eavesdrops on your thoughts. Can you teach your brain to become unlimited, by thinking that you have that potential?