[MUSIC] It's been 23 years since he suffered the stroke. [MUSIC] It was just horrible. I just felt like I had totally lost my best friend. [MUSIC] I wanted to bring him back to the person that he was. But, in reality, I should have known I couldn't. [MUSIC] The doctor said to me, the best thing to do is to actually have a funeral for Marvin, the one that you married. And accept the Marvin that you brought home as a totally different person, because he'll never be the same. [MUSIC] >> At 56, Marvin Bateman is a shadow of the young husband and father he once was. A stroke has left him paralyzed on one side of his body. But its most devastating impact is less visible. He has been cut off from his emotions. >> I want to see my mommy. Please. [SOUND] >> Put the lotion in the basket! >> [SOUND] Aah! >> So how did that make you feel when we were watching it? >> Well, I don't know. It's hard. I'm trying to think. I know you're looking for a word but I can't think of one right now. >> No, it's okay. >> At the University of Iowa, researchers are trying to understand why Marvin can not feel a simple emotion like fear. [MUSIC] A scan shows this dark region where Marvin's brain has died. >> The core of the damage is in areas that have to do with creating a feeling. It's not that he has lost the ability to produce an emotion. The losses have more to do with the ability to feel the emotion that it produces. >> Can you remember from this picture to that picture? What happened? >> Oh, it was a long time. See, we still lived in Winthrop there. >> Yeah, I know. >> And then this is after I got moved to Owen and then I had that stupid stroke. Yeah. >> Yeah. >> Emotion. You can see it on Marvin's face. A smile, a laugh, a scowl of frustration. But what he does not experience is the awareness of emotion. [MUSIC] Emotions are generated by structures hidden deep in the brain. The tiny, almond-shaped amygdala is the first to respond to an emotional event, triggering a series of split-second reactions within the brain's emotional core. Waves of nerve impulses travel down the brain stem, setting off an instantaneous, visceral response throughout the body. >> A lot of the time, the machinery that produces the emotion is operating without us noticing it at all. Creating Changes in posture, your facial expression. Altering the way the organs inside the body are working, preparing the body for what's needed next. Generating chemical responses that you will never know existed. And all of this is what constitutes the emotional state. [MUSIC] >> For most people, awareness of a feeling follows just milliseconds after an emotion is created. The body sends signals back to the area of the brain responsible for conscious thought, making us aware of our feelings. [MUSIC] It is in this region of emotional awareness that Marvin's stroke decimated hundreds of millions of brain cells. [MUSIC] Marvin experiences emotion, his body responds. But when the physical response is communicated back to his thinking brain, the signal falls into a void. Marvin can only guess at what he or others may be feeling. >> When you're married, there's an emotional connection between two people. That connection is no longer there. It's like somebody cut that wire between the two of us. If I try and talk to him about something that's bothering me. Or might just need somebody to listen, he's just not there for me. There's no empathy or sympathy. He just can't get that feeling. And he knows it should come, but it just won't. >> This is the Chamonix Valley of the French Alps. Avalanche paths are evident all around. In the past- >> Before the stroke, Marvin was a successful salesman, selling plumbing supplies throughout Iowa. But he hasn't been able to work in 23 years. >> Furious crowd into the mountain. >> He was very ambitious, driven. Now, he doesn't really want to make any decision as far as anything important. >> I couldn't make decisions like I thought I should. And I probably wouldn't make a decision about different things. I probably would've screwed stuff up because I didn't want to. Wasn't for Arlene, we wouldn't be where we're at because I didn't make proper business decisions on house and any bills, anything like that because I just wasn't able to make decisions. [MUSIC] >> Marvin has trouble deciding because he has lost the emotional connection to his past. Memories and the emotions that go with them guide our every decision. But for Marvin, memories are bereft of feeling. [MUSIC] >> All the things that you go through in your life in terms of decisions Are inevitably accompanied by some kind of emotion, positive or negative. Each decision has some kind of similarity with a decision of the past. And when you are in a position to decide once again, you will call up an emotional memory that will appear as a gut feeling and will lead you in one direction or another. So what you have is literally a navigational aid. Something that helps you get to the right decision. If that is broken down, then you're at the mercy of facts and logic. And that's just not good enough. >> Marvin is rudderless as he navigates through daily life. [MUSIC] >> But I'm not invalid, I'm not. Some days people probably think I am, but I'm able to do a lot of things. >> I'd give everything up to have him back emotionally. We care about each other and I'll always love him, but I just miss the old Marvin. [MUSIC] >> There's an old idea that emotion is not in all good thing, because it is difficult to control. But emotion is extremely useful. Emotion is not a luxury. Emotion is part and parcel of the mechanisms that allow us to stay alive. [MUSIC] >> Feelings seem intangible, intensely subjective. But now, using new imaging technologies, scientists have demonstrated that emotions have a physical place in the brain. >> Now you might wonder, what does this have to do with soul beliefs? This course is on soul beliefs. What's Ogilvy trying to do, just fill in time? No, not really. And this is the tricky part. This is going to be hard for me to phrase it so you get the point or begin to get the point that I'm making. Professor Hamilton talked about Descartes last time, remember? Descartes' dualism. I think, therefore I am. I think, therefore I am. Damasio, who was the neuroscientist who was in this talking about Marvin, wrote a book called Descartes' Error. And it turns out Descartes' Error, as far as he was concerned, as far as his neurological studies indicated, his error was, I feel, therefore I am. When I think, therefore I am, I feel, therefore I am. Now the kinds of feelings I'm talking about today mostly would be subtle feelings. Feelings you might not even recognize. As you know, a lot of what we do is conducted at a nonconscious, preconscious level. I'm struck by him looking at cards. Remember when he was looking at cards? And I suspect most, if not all of you, have been confronted with a task of going to the drugstore or Hallmark or someplace to get a card for somebody for some occasion. And usually there's hundreds of cards, thousands of cards, but they're divided up into categories, birthdays, anniversaries, Mother's Day, etcetera so that will narrow it down. But then there's still 50 to 75 choices, something about in that range. And you have to decide which one you want to get. And if you're like me, you can narrow them down pretty easy to about five and then three. And you're looking at three and thinking. And then all of a sudden, it's that one! It's perfect. Ask why. You don't know why, at first. You can figure it out later on. You say, I picked that out because my mother likes purple and there's a little bit of purple in there. But what enabled you to make that initial selection were your feelings, were your feelings. Your feelings guided you to make the decision. It's not necessarily it was the right decision, but it was a decision that, for the time being, was suitable. What happened was your internal milieu, all the systems that are in your body that generate feelings suddenly calm down and you make a choice. You made that choice. That's the right choice, but underneath it the reason that you selected that one is it felt right. We'll unravel this further as we progress. But I want you to note here that after Marvin's stroke, Marvin was no longer Marvin. And from the video you watch, he was no longer Marvin because he could not process the feelings. So how can you no longer be who you are because you're no longer processing feelings? That's a mystery we're going to try to penetrate today. Antonio Damasio, he's the one who was the moderator of that, says, feelings form the base of what humans have described for millennia as human soul or spirit. It's kind of nice, it's a nice wording and that sort of thing. I'm not sure. I'm not sure that it's just feelings alone that we refer to as our spirit or our soul. I don't think that that feelings can be separated from thinking. But before I get too dense, let's look at something else. We'll look at Phineas Gage. And I'm going to let Aan Alda take over here. There's Phineas Gage. That's the bar that went through his brain. And that's his skull. >> This is the skull of Phineas Gage, who over 150 years ago become one of the most celebrated cases in the history of medicine, which is why he's still here in the Warren Museum at Harvard Medical School. A smart and likeable young man according to his friends, Phineas was working as the foreman of a railroad construction gang in Vermont when a blasting accident blew this three foot long iron rod through his left cheek and clear through the top of his head. The rod landed about 25 yards behind him, and Phineas got to his feet and walked away. As a local newspaper put it the next day, the most singular circumstance connected with this melancholy affair is that he is alive, and in full possession of his senses, and free of pain. But while he lived another 12 years with part of his brain destroyed, he was, as his friend said, no longer Gage. He was described as fitful and grossly profane. On the one hand impatient and obstinate, and on the other unable to make plans for the future. Unable, in fact, to make up his mind. Phineas Gage's fame stems not only from his simply surviving such a ghastly accident, but because he was the first patient to suggest a link between personality and the functions of the front part of the brain, the frontal lobes. In this show we're going to explore how our frontal lobes shape who we are and how we go about our lives. What's the area of the brain that was affected during this accident? >> Well, I think the area that everybody focuses on is the frontal lobes. Now, there might've been some damage to areas a little bit outside the frontal lobes. But what makes this person and their case interesting to scientists is the fact that their injury was in the frontal lobes, and as a result of the injury Gage's personality changed. >> Can we tell what kind of personality? I mean, was it an inability to make decisions, or. well it's hard to tell, huh? >> It's hard to tell, other than the fact we know it changed, he couldn't resume his former position. >> Yeah. >> Although, he did work afterwards, I mean. >> But he wasn't good as a foreman? >> He wasn't good as a foreman, which requires executive skills. >> I brought a brain in a box here, and I wonder if you can show me where on the brain the accident affected him. >> So these are the frontal lobes of the brain. This is the right side and the left side. And the rod probably entered somewhere from the bottom of the frontal lobes, on the left side, and came out somewhere on the top of the frontal lobes. So all the tissue in between here to here no doubt was damaged, as well as some of the surrounding tissue. What was the thinking in those days about the relationship of the brain to the personality? How did they organize their thoughts about that? >> Well, there wasn't a lot of sophisticated thinking. Here's an example of such thinking. This is a phrenology skull. And you can see etched into the skull in different places are what might be called faculties. >> Phrenology was invented by a very bright fellow called Franz Joseph Gall, who thought that different parts of the brain did different things. His mistake was in believing bumps in the skull reveal what lies beneath. Has any one of these areas shown to, you don't even have categories like this anymore. >> Alan, it was a crapshoot. >> Yes, I mean benevolence, I don't think, nobody's looking for benevolence in the brain, or are you? >> We're all looking for benevolence. >> [LAUGH] >> But not right now in the brain. Reasoning faculties, he's got over here. >> So that's probably not a bad place to have it. There's probably some relationship between the functions of the frontal lobe and your ability to do certain kinds of reasoning. >> He's got language under the left eye. Yeah. >> Is it possible? I mean, why would he say that? Is there brain under the left eye? >> I don't know what kind of plaster cast he was studying in order to do that. Under the left eye is your left cheek. >> [LAUGH] >> [MUSIC] Gall may have been wrong in the details, but his concept of the brain as an organ with specialized regions has been vindicated. And of all the specialized regions, none is more important then distinguishing us from the rest of the animal kingdom and from our pre-human ancestors than the enormously enlarged front part of our thinking brain, the frontal lobes or pre-frontal cortex. It serves as sort of the central executive, the chairman of the board, of the brain. And it helps guide our behaviors, it helps us plan. It helps us carry out plans. It helps us reason about difficult topics. It helps us make certain kinds of decisions. It helps us inhibit behaviors that are not really appropriate, more primitive behaviors. For example, let's say you want to be on a diet. And you love chocolate. And in front of you, you see this wonderful, delicious chocolate cake. But you know you shouldn't have it. >> Right, so the back of my brain is- >> Wants it. >> Wants it, and the front of my brain- >> Is saying not good for me. >> Right. >> And so you're able to put it off because you have another goal. Maybe the goal is to lose weight. Maybe the goal is to live longer. So these goals are going to be much more important than the sort of short-term goal based on just seeing that chocolate cake in front of you. >> All right, lets review this. Prior to his accident, Gage was known to his colleagues as he had considerable energy of character. He had a well balanced mind. He was shrewd, smart. Good business man, well organized, terrific leader. He led a crew of people who were in various dangerous missions of using dynamite to blow up rocks to make roads or whatever. He was persistent, he was planful. After his accident he was described as fitful, irreverent, impatient, capricious, profane, unable to anticipate and plan for the future. And, like Mervin, Gage was no longer Gage. An injury in the specific part of the brain and that frontal lobe changed his personality. Interesting. There are now other examples of people with similar injuries, with similar symptoms. One is somebody named Elliot. He's written about that by Damasio as well. And he called him a modern day Phineas Gage. He had. He was a successful business man. He was in his late 20s, early 30s. He's married, had children, people admired him. They could count on him. And he developed a headache. A very painful headache, and went to see a neurologist in the same general area where Demasio was at the time. And the fear was that he had a brain tumor, which in fact he did. A brain tumor that was pushing the frontal lobe up. And in order to take out the tumor, which they successfully did, they damaged the frontal lobe. And I said, before he had this operation, he's a good husband and father, role model, fine businessman, able to make plans and carry them out. And after the tumor was removed, his cognitive abilities remained unchanged. Was his cognitive abilities. Well, you've heard of IQ. He had a high IQ prior to the surgery and after the surgery. They gave him all kinds of tests, counting backwards, skipping numbers, and he passed these tests with flying colors. He was not impaired the slightest bit in that arena of thinking. Good perceptual ability. Good at math. He was always good at math, and remained good at math after the tumor had been removed. His language skills were unimpaired. Ability to imagine solutions to a host of problems. Give him a problem, and he said, well we could do this and you could do that. All very intellectual and very well thought out. But he was not able to make any decisions. He was not able to make any action decisions. You see, I can tell you all possible solutions to this particular problem. But I can't decide which one to select. After all this, I still wouldn't know what to do. He didn't know what to do, because he's lost touched with his feelings. The feelings didn't make it up from the body. In that video with Damasio, I wish I had the capacity to just go back and take that clip out. Emotions start in the brain. Around the amygdala, as they pointed out, it was a yellow thing that lit up. Immediately though. They don't just circulate around the brain. Immediately go into the body. Did you notice that? Go into the body. They go into the body and then they come back up. Instantaneous. Professor Hamilton has a habit of carrying a brain. You should see him carrying a brain. Those of you that come regularly, you have seen him carrying a brain. It's not a real brain. It's an artificial brain. Now if I were in the habit of carrying a brain around, my brain would be different. The brain I would carry around would be different because it would have a lot of stuff hanging off it. It would go, that stuff, you would pull out the brain and its going to be a lot of stuff in it that goes into the body. The central nervous and peripheral nervous system, organs and all that. There's a constant interaction. So I don't criticize him. He's not here, he's on a road trip if you have to know. >> [LAUGH] >> He's practicing for retirement. >> [LAUGH] >> So I don't criticize that, because I understand what he's doing, but it can be misleading. It can misleading insofar as you think that all the important activity happens up here in the brain. It doesn't! I mean a lot of it, you lose your brain, you're a goner. But you're also a goner to a certain extent, when you lose touch with your feelings. When there's no communication back and forth. It's not just communication down, it's communication back up. And it's down and up and it's down and up and that, this is how we operate. This is how all mammalians operate. We'll go into more detail on that in a few moments. After all this, I still wouldn't know what to do. And Elliot was no longer Elliot.