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Airs Wednesdays, June 28-Aug. 2, 2017 at 10 p.m. on KPBS TV

Dr. David Eagleman holding a human brain, donated to The M.I.N.D. Institute, ...

Credit: Courtesy of Blink Films

Above: Dr. David Eagleman holding a human brain, donated to The M.I.N.D. Institute, University of California at Davis Medical Center for science research.

THE BRAIN WITH DAVID EAGLEMAN, hosted by Dr. David Eagleman, neuroscientist, New York Times best-selling author and a Guggenheim Fellow, reveals the true story of how our brains create the rich and beautiful world around us by blending scientific truth with innovative visual effects and compelling personal stories.

The six-part series exposes the inner workings of the brain and takes viewers on a visually spectacular journey into why they feel and think the things they do.


Neuroscientist David Eagleman explores the human brain in an epic series that reveals the ultimate story of us, why we feel and think the things we do. This ambitious project blends science with innovative visual effects and compelling personal stories, and addresses some big questions.

With hardly a brain scanner or a white coat in sight, THE BRAIN focuses on understanding the fundamental truths of what it means to be human today and in the coming centuries.

Dr. Eagleman’s exciting multi-disciplinary approach has generated respect — and fans — across the world.

He takes viewers on a fascinating journey through our neural universe, asking profound questions like “What is reality?” and “Who is in control?”

He also looks at the darker side of human behavior, and reveals that the modern study of the brain offers us special insight into why we can commit terrible acts of group on group violence, even genocide.


Episode 1: “What Is Reality?” repeats Wednesday, June 28 at 10 p.m. - Dr. David Eagleman takes viewers on an extraordinary journey, exploring how the brain, locked in silence and darkness without direct access to the world, conjures the rich and beautiful world we all take for granted.

THE BRAIN: Our Perception of Reality

David invites subjects to recreate an experiment that demonstrates how much our brains leave out of our perception of reality. One brief look is enough for the brain to model a picture of the situation but just how detailed it that model?

Episode 2: “What Makes Me” repeats Wednesday, July 5 at 10 p.m. - Explore how we are our brain, how our personality, emotions and memories are encoded as neural activity. The process of becoming continues through our lives. We change our brain and our brain changes us.

THE BRAIN: Born Unfinished

Many newborn animals are born ready for the world, compared to human babies who are born helpless. The unfinished brains of young humans allows them to develop and adapt to whichever environments they are born into.

Episode 3: “Who Is In Control” repeats Wednesday, July 12 at 10 p.m. - Dr. Eagleman explores the unconscious brain and reveals that everything from our movements, to our decisions, to our behavior is largely controlled and orchestrated by an invisible world of unconscious neural activity.

THE BRAIN: Ian Waterman’s Inspiring Story

Ian Waterman has lost the ability to control his body without exerting extraordinary conscious effort. Ian’s condition reminds us of the amazing reach of the unconscious brain.

Episode 4: “How Do I Decide” repeats Wednesday, July 19 at 10 p.m. - Learn how the brain navigates the tens of thousands of conscious decisions we make every day and the many more unconscious decisions we make about everything from whom we find attractive to what we perceive.

THE BRAIN: Energy and Judgement

An analysis of 1,000 decisions made by judges in parole hearings revealed that one factor made prisoners three times more likely to be granted parole.

Episode 5: “Why Do I Need You?” repeats Wednesday, July 26 at 10 p.m. - See how the brain relies on other brains to thrive and survive. This neural interdependence underpins our need to group together — and our capacity to do the best and the worst of things to each other.

THE BRAIN: The Amazing Case of John Robison

The amazing case of John Robison, whose Aspergers changed following a course of transcranial magnetic stimulation, or TMS. John’s transformation reveals something that we all unconsciously do every day when we interact with each other.

Episode 6: “Who Will We Be?” repeats Wednesday, Aug. 2 at 10 p.m. - Join Dr. Eagleman as he journeys into the future and asks what’s next for the human brain and for our species. He speculates that our descendants may be so different from us that we’ll be strangers to them.

THE BRAIN: Attempting to Create Artificial Intelligence

David meets iCub, a humanoid robot that is designed to interact and learn from the world.


All six episodes are available for viewing on demand with KPBS Passport, video streaming for members ($60 yearly) using your computer, smartphone, tablet, Roku, AppleTV, Amazon Fire or Chromecast. Learn how to activate your benefit now.


Dr. David Eagleman is on Facebook, Instagram, and you can follow @davideagleman on Twitter. #BrainPBS


Produced by Blink Films. The series is executive produced by Justine Kershaw and Dr. David Eagleman.


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