Tag Archives: brain

The Criminal Brain

At the Frankenstein Exhibit in the Old Capital Mall, There was a section discussing the brain of the creature. It stated, “In her novel, Mary Shelley’s monster turns to violence after he is abandoned by his creator and rejected by human society. In the 1931 film, Frankenstein, the monster is violent because he has received the brain of a criminal instead of the brain of a distinguished scientist. During the first part of the twentieth century, researchers looked for physical markers of criminality in the brain and other parts of the body.”

Could this have happened in the Frankenstein novel? Mary Shelley left a great deal of mystery surrounding the creature. It could be possible that she had developed a theory that the creature was given a brain from a criminal, but it is unlikely. This aspect was not mentioned to have crossed the mind of Victor Frankenstein. As I have blogged about before, the creature had no previous memories from his past life. I do not think that the hypothesis of the creature being given a criminal brain was the cause for his rage and violence. I think it was because the creature was left on his on to fend for himself and he developed the bad qualities from the way people had treated him. They made it seem as if violence was ok. Also, when the creature was first created, he did not try to harm Victor or anyone else. When he killed Victors brother it was because of the way he was treated by Victor, not because he felt the need to kill. I think it is an interesting idea presented by the movie, but overall not true because the creatures dangers personality was created just as he was.

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Criminal Brain vs Normal Brain

Today when we went to the Frankenstein exhibit, I was instantly drawn to the picture comparing a criminal brain to a normal brain. The description next to the picture described how in the 1931 film of Frankenstein, the monster is violent because he has received the brain of a criminal instead of the brain of a distinguished scientist. When comparing the normal and criminal brains, you can clearly see a difference between them. The criminal brains are more of a white color and did not have much dark color to it while the normal brains had a darker color and had more of a full look to it. It is interesting to compare the brains and notice the differences.

It makes sense the monster was given a criminal brain because of the destruction he causes. It murders multiple people who are close to Victor and claims it will not stop until Victor makes a companion for the monster. If the monster was given a criminal brain, Victor should not make the monster a companion because it will cause destruction anyway. Even though the monster says it will not terrorize any humans if Victor makes a companion, Victor cannot trust the monster’s word because the way its brain is wired will cause the monster to go back on its word. Also, if Victor does make a companion and accidentally gives the companion a criminal brain too, he could be asking for a lot of trouble. I always thought Victor should make a companion for the monster, but after seeing what having a criminal brain can do, I agree with Victor’s decision to not make a companion.

Here is a link to the picture I am talking about: http://www.nlm.nih.gov/frankenstein/images/brains.jpg

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Young Woman or Old Hag?

This optical illusion is a classic example of how focused attention requires selection and rejection.  It is also a good example of how attention always implies a degree of “attention blindness,” since you can’t program your brain to focus on the young woman and the old hag at the same time. When you see one, you don’t see the other; your brain will not allow it.


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