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" How Does the Brain Work ? "
"...Dr. Neal DeGrasse Tyson & NOVA science NOW delve into magic and the brain, artificial intelligence, magnetic mind control, and the work of neuroscientist and synesthesiaresearcher David Eagleman. Can we really believe our own eyes? Will machines one day think like us? Can magnetic wands effectively control brain functions and treat depression..."
The brain is a miraculous organ that can be held in the palm of a hand; it has 100 billion nerve cells functioning in complex ways. Although there are still many mysteries related to the brain, cutting edge research by neuroscientists is telling us more about it.
Host Neil deGrasse Tyson travels to Las Vegas where he chats with magicians, including Penn and Teller, about their craft. They have much to teach us about attention and human perception. The second segment focuses on Artificial Intelligence (AI) and the preparations of Watson, a machine getting ready to take on a human contestants in "Jeopardy." Watching this account, we are compelled to think about the differences between AI and human intelligence.
Host Neil deGrasse Tyson speculates on whether machines might do research work and serve as assistants to doctors and lawyers.
Magnetic wands are being used with people who have physical pain as well as those with depression. Researchers discovered these therapeutic results by applying the wand to the appropriate areas of the brain. The final section of the program profiles the work of David Eagleman, a neuroscientist doing pioneer work in time perception and in synesthesia.
Program episodes include:
Magic and the Brain - Are the secrets behind the world's greatest magic tricks actually wired into the human brain? Eccentric magicians Penn and Teller and Las Vegas trickster Apollo Robbins team up with neuroscientists to reveal how our brains process visual information. Can you really believe your own eyes?
Can Machines Think Like Us - Can we make a robot that really thinks, learns, and acts like us? Replicating the human brain is a lot tougher than it looks; the promise of walking, talking "androids" is still just a fantasy. But scientists are edging closer with machines like Watson, an IBM computer which is gearing up for a first-of-its-kind challenge: Taking on human contestants on the game show Jeopardy.
Magnetic Mind Control - Obi-Wan Kenobi used it to get his droids past policing stormtroopers in Star Wars. The Communists used it to turn a captured soldier into an assassin in The Manchurian Candidate. But now the thrilling, terrifying prospect of controlling another's mind using invisible forces is stepping out of the movies and into the lab, as scientists "hack" into the human brain.
Profile: David Eagleman - How does the brain construct reality using the information it takes in? Neuroscientist David Eagleman is using a unique brand of "guerilla science" to study time perception--dropping people 100 feet into a net--and synesthesia, a bizarre crossing of the senses in the brain.
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