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Brain From Planet Arous

"Brain From Planet Arous" (1957) is one of the crowning achievements of 20th Century sci-fi. During a jaunt to investigate an anomaly at Mystery Mountain, nuclear physicist Steve March becomes the unwilling host to an alien life form, a brain-shaped creature with glowing eyes named Gor. Steve's girlfriend Sally notices a few changes in her Gor-possessed sweetie—the first being a bit more vigor in his kisses. (From a planet where intellect is all, Gor finds the notion of female companionship of surprising interest in his new, embodied state.) Understandably, Steve is upset and Gor, a sore winner if there ever was one, occasionally floats out to gloat and make allusions to his megalomaniacal plans, which include putting the moves on Sally. Just when you think Steve and Sally can't possibly take any more, another brain-alien named Vol arrives to help them thwart Gor, revealing that the latter is a noted criminal back on Arous.

Fortunately, every 24 hours, Gor must exit Steve's body to obtain oxygen and is, for that brief time only, vulnerable to attack in what Vol calls the "Fissure of Orlando". We humans also know this part of the brain as the central sulcus, the groove between the brain's frontal and parietal lobes. The frontal lobe of the brain governs executive functions (such as planning and impulse control), and the parietal lobe relates to processing sensory information and contains the dorsal stream of vision that allows us to envision where and how things happen.

The Science

Greg Clark

Greg ClarkProfessor Greg Clark of the University of Utah’s Department of Bioengineering discusses the human brain and the film “Brain From Planet Arous.”

 

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Greg Clark

University of Utah

Biological Scientist

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