The Secret Life of the Brain

The Secret Life of the Brain

2002, Psychology  -   28 Comments
Ratings: 7.61/10 from 119 users.

The Secret Life of the BrainThe Secret Life of the Brain, a David Grubin Production, reveals the fascinating processes involved in brain development across a lifetime.

The five-part series, informs viewers of exciting information in the brain sciences, introduces the foremost researchers in the field, and utilizes dynamic visual imagery and compelling human stories to help a general audience understand otherwise difficult scientific concepts.

A startling new map of the human brain has emerged during the past decade of neuroscience research, contradicting much of what was previously believed. This series tells stories through a mix of personal histories, expert commentary, and animation.

1. The Baby's Brain: Wider than the Sky. A baby's brain is a mystery whose secrets scientists are just beginning to unravel. The mystery begins in the womb - only four weeks into gestation the first brain cells, the neurons, are already forming at an astonishing rate: 250,000 every minute.

2. The Child's Brain: Syllable from Sound. A child's brain is a magnificent engine for learning. A child learns to crawl, then walk, run and explore. A child learns to reason, to pay attention, to remember, but nowhere is learning more dramatic than in the way a child learns language. As children, we acquire language -- the hallmark of being human.

3. The Teenage Brain: A World of Their Own. When examining the adolescent brain we find mystery, complexity, frustration, and inspiration. As the brain begins teeming with hormones, the prefrontal cortex, the center of reasoning and impulse control, is still a work in progress. For the first time, scientists can offer an explanation for what parents already know -- adolescence is a time of roiling emotions, and poor judgment.

4. The Adult Brain: To Think by Feeling. The adult brain is the apotheosis of the human intellect, but what of emotion? The study of emotion was once relegated to the backwaters of neuroscience, a testament to the popular conception that what we feel exists outside our brains, acting only to intrude on normal thought. The science has changed: Emotion is now considered integral to our over-all mental health.

5. The Aging Brain: Through Many Lives. At the age of 95, Stanley Kunitz was named poet laureate of the United States. Still writing new poems, still reading to live audiences, he stands as an inspiring example of the brain's ability to stay vital in the final years of our lives. The latest discoveries in neuroscience present a new view of how the brain ages. Overturning decades of dogma, scientists recently discovered that even into our seventies, our brains continue producing new neurons.

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28 Comments / User Reviews

  1. Ronnnie

    We couldn't watch because the music track was so loud, it was difficult to hear the speaking voice. After 10 minutes we stopped, and then returned it in disappointment. Zero stars in our opinion.

  2. Kidcurcw

    I was enjoying the series and learning a lot, until the end of the first film. I now discover that one of the major investors in the whole series is Pfizer. What a let down. As a result of this funding, there is very little reference to the emotional development of the brain and REM sleep quality which we now know (2015) to have a significant part to play in how the cortex develops.This series was made in 2001 which is hardly cutting edge material. I just feel I wasted the hours being brain washed into how the drug companies operate and the straight line thinking that they promote. Very deceptive mechanisms at work in this entire series. In my opinion you should use your time more wisely and search for more up to date, impartial scientific and psychological findings in order to educate yourself .

  3. gwhosubex

    so many terrible people have kids. and those kids are stuck with them, and subject to all of their parents' abusive whims and calcified emotional triggers and prejudices.

  4. julian

    phizer advert

  5. Rachel

    This is a great series, it is really interesting. I love the stuff on drug addiction makes it more understanding, same with PTSD, schizophrenia, depression, etc. So much good stuff in this documentary.

  6. ProudinUS

    Man, I've been staring at a screen with nothing but 'ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXY and Z' just trying to figure out if there's a way to scramble a few of these letters together and give a meaning to that tune 'Louie, Louie' everybody has heard at least once in their life. My ma loved that song and I don't know why. By the way..... was listening, but you weren't listening back! YOU didn't prove anything. All YOU proved was that there are a few voices coming from the same mouth.

  7. BurntAsh

    Has any one else noticed that all the doctors and neuroscientists in this feature are women?

    1. Paul Wardlow

      Out of all the people who have subscribed to my YouTube Channel from this page 68% of them are women.

  8. Yi Wen Qian

    I think everyone can get something out of this series. Maybe if more teens watch this, it will reduce drug related issues? Just because you don't feel the effect of a drug, or you feel that you are completely in control after taking the drug even though other people are not, doesn't decrease your chance of getting addicted. In fact, the chance increases.

    One can dream.

  9. Jry Ni

    [ The Aging Brain: Through Many Lives. At the age of 95, Stanley Kunitz was named poet laureate of the United States. Still writing new poems, still reading to live audiences, ..] good news to many, and me.

  10. Truthseeker420

    This info re: Cortisol (great amounts of stress for long period of time & EFFECTS of that) is opening a window into my OWN history of depression and anxiety and I'm so grateful. It explans A LOT and that is NOT a joke, MK. Therefore, as always Vlatko - thank you.

    1. knowledgeizpower

      Omg Ditto to that Truthseeker I personally share those experiences it feels good when one is soo open about their experience with depression, I am not happy with it and its not something that I'm proud of but something that I can deal with and overcome especially with support and a Positive Attitude so Thank You for saying that :)

    2. Paul Wardlow

      Scientia Est Potentia is Latin for knowledge is power. I like your handle/nickname.

  11. knowledgeizpower

    I finally finished this series....I think this was really good and interesting,, I really enjoyed the first video concerning the brain and growth with the little babies Aww lol...

  12. polecat992001

    when it says "a faded photograph" (min 37:29) why is it there the word "girl" at the front of the shade or the shadow? (sorry for my english my first tongue is spanish) cheers and thx for tan answer =o)

  13. Matt Kukowski

    This doc is a joke... shows just how narrow minded current 'Institutions' are.

    'All psychologists and psychiatric should conciser themselves as unofficial. At least then you will have an out. We do not know how artistic genius is done. We can put the tools into the hands of people, but we never know who will use them to create genius.'
    - Alan Watts (Philosophizer)

    1. tariqxl

      These aren't psychologist and psychiatrists they're biologists telling you things that weren't known when Alan watts said that. In fairness if you prefer philosophy over science there is a section for it.

    2. dptowns

      Genius is of necessity. Give tools to whoever you wish, they are use only as needed. It is the "need" that is Genius!

    3. jay007777

      need is like a satisfies and stop.but like curiosity is sign of truley genius.

  14. killerinside

    I went to School with the guy that they feature with schizophrenia in part 3. At 26:27 They are in the pool hall I bartended at. I was working that evening. It had to be at around 10 years ago. He was a good kid. Everyone liked him. I haven't seen him since then. Damn shame...

  15. Guest

    A lot of good changes happening on TDF, I like that the new comments are always at the top in sort by newest, we don't have to search all over to find them.
    I have a suggestion:
    How about adding "dislike" under each comments, people would have the choice to disagree without having to write long (hurtful) comments. And we the readers could measure more easily the pulse.
    Also if a person was the top would send a straight message. I would suggest only members could use no possibility to hide or to keep disliking a comment nonstop.

    1. Vlatko


      I can't add dislike button. However every comment has a flag button. If a comment is really nasty, and flagged by number of people, it will be removed automatically. The community by itself can remove poor comments.

    2. Guest

      I just "woke up" and noticed that when you read a reply comment, if you click on "in reply to .....", it will open a window with the comment it replies to.
      I will say it again, i like the new format!

    3. djc200

      TDF should definitely implement a top-liked feature for comments. Those who have the most likes should stay fixed at the top. Just like on Youtube. Pretty please?? This would help so much I think. Or at least highlight the top-liked comments like on NYtimes . com.

      Thanks for listening! :)

    4. Vlatko


      There is something similar in place at TDF. Look up and sort the comments by "popular now" and the most liked comments will be fixed on top. Actually your comment will be first since it has the most likes at this moment. Choose once and you'll see every thread sorted by "most popular" comments. You can revert the option whenever you like.

    5. djc200

      Yeah... but it doesn't quite have the same effect. i'd say that most people watching have very short attention spans and don't watch documentaries all the way through fully. that said, when i view comments, the default is "newest first", which is fine, but for the sake of those who troll the site and leave comments (clearly without fully understanding the content and context of the documentary), i would like the public to see FIRST which are the most sincere and relevant comments; they would probably be the most liked, I suppose.

    6. JustMe___1

      Hmmm, yes, that is good for keeping the place "clean", but a YouTube-style 'thumb down' button would indeed be cool. Sometimes. maybe, nasty and stupid comments should be kept, simply as a record of how far one can get, it is, in a sense, interesting for understanding human psychology. Many people are more 'themselves' when engaging in an argument with you online than they would be the first you met them IRL. Of course, there are many trolls who would just play with your reactions, but they are interesting for research, too.

  16. JustMe___1

    For so long have I expected another series about the brain. Thanks!