NARRATOR: Whenever we look at an object or a face, the message reaches the temporal lobes, where it’s identified, but then it gets relayed to a structure called the “amygdala,” which is the gateway to the limbic system that contains the emotional centers of the brain. And it’s here that we generate the appropriate emotional response to whatever it is we’re looking at.
V.S. RAMACHANDRAN: Now, what I’ve suggested is that what’s going on in this patient is the message gets to the temporal lobe cortex, so the patient recognizes his mother as being his mother and evokes the appropriate memories. But the message doesn’t get to the amygdala, because the fibers going from the temporal cortex to the amygdala into the emotional centers are cut, as a result of the accident. Therefore, there is no emotion. There is no warmth. And he says, “If this is really my mother why is it I’m not experiencing any emotions? There’s something not quite right here. Maybe she is some other strange woman pretending to be my mother.”