The brain “runs” our body, and has complete control of everything from muscle movement to our ability to study and remember the material. In some cases, It controls limbs that are not even there. This Is known as phantom limb syndrome. The patient in the study can feel the limb, even though It Is not there. In tests that were done, It Is believed that there may be a cross-wiring of the neuropathology. The path that controls the amputated arm Is sending out signals, but Is not receiving any back, so It keeps sending more signals.
This resending of the signals over and over causes pain to the patient that feels Like It Is In the arm that Is not there. To alleviate the pain, the doctor puts the patient’s good arm In a box; next to It Is a mirror where the amputated arm would be. The patient clenches and unclenched his arm, while looking at the mirror. The brain Is basically tricked to stop sending signals, so the patient is relieved of the pain. Another patient in the movie was a man with capers syndrome.
He was in an accident, which left his intellect, but may have severed retain pathways between the frontal lobe and the emotional center of the brain. The syndrome makes a person believe that oneself, people close to them and/or inanimate objects are imposter. The man believes his parents, himself, and his house are imposter. What is believed to be happening is that the severed pathways are not conveying the message, of what the man is seeing, to the emotional center. Thus, there is no emotional response (no warmth and/or emotion towards what he is looking at).
One more case that was interesting was the man with temporal lobe epilepsy. The patient has violent seizures, which is basically neurons firing randomly out of sync with frontal lobe in the brain. It is compared to an earthquake in the body, with aftershock. The man in the study has deep religious experiences due to these seizures. He thought he was God after one of his seizures. The patient has become more emotional, not in regards to himself, but to the world around him. He believes that in order to have these experiences, he must have the seizures; so he thinks that the seizures are worth it.