The brain: a secret history. Part 2, Emotions.

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About this work

Also known as

Into the Mind


The second in a three-part series in which Michael Mosley explores the history of experimental psychology. This part focuses on our emotions. Mosley experiences the emotion of extreme fearand panic when he goes down into a deep underground cave. J.B. Watson was one of the first psychologists to explore where emotions came from - are the inate or learned? He studied fear by terrifying 9 month old Albert, an experiment which he filmed and which is shown. He proved that whilst our capacity for emotion is inate, the way they develop is learned. Mosley meets Daniel, 22, who he filmed when he was 11 years old and had a phobia of dogs. We also look at the emotion of love. Harry Harlow experimented with baby monkeys in order to understand the nature of the bond of love between a mother and child, the most harsh of which included putting baby monkeys in a 'well of despair' totally isolated from any affectionate physical contact. Albert Bandura experimented with children to see if they would copy an adult after they had seen it being violent to a doll - they all copied the adult behaviour. Mosley visits Christian Keysers who studies Mosley's reactions to pain, both his own and the sight of it happening to another person; during both experiences his brain activity is scanned and measured. The same area of the brain is triggered into action. Antonio studied emotion and intuition. One of his students is studying Dave who lost his ability to feel any kind of emotion after his brain was damaged following brain surgery for a brain tumour.


London : BBC4, 2010.

Physical description

1 DVD (60 min.) : sound, color, PAL

Copyright note



Broadcast on 13 January, 2011

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