Just over a half-century ago, in the mid-50s, at the height of our paranoia about communists and the Soviet Union, a boy sees a flying saucer land in the distance. No one else sees the event. The occupants of the mysterious spacecraft prove to be invaders from Mars. Their strategy is to capture people, one-by-one, and to perform brain surgery on them whereby an electrode controlling device is placed in the victims’ brains rendering them pawn
s of the invaders, though they retain the superficial appearance of human beings. The only clue to recognizing one of these unfortunate robots is to look for the telltale antenna at the base of the hairline in the back of the neck.
In order to understand the profound meaning of the Invaders from Mars, you have to know a little neurology.
There are really two people within each of us, a fact that reflects the two almost mirror image cerebral hemispheres, each responsible for the opposite side of the body and extra-personal space. Put simply, damage to the left hemisphere will cause paralysis and loss of sensation on the right side of the body, including loss of perception from the right side of the world.
This loss of perception is more profound than simple blindness. If reflects the fact that anything that the brain does not record is actually not there. We live, after all, in virtual reality. What our brains do not sense is, for us, not there. Do the following experiment. What is behind your head? Not what you imagine might be there or what you think you remember is there. What is actually there? Is it black, white, striped? Try to describe it. You don’t have the words, because what is there is nothing, and nothing has no color, texture or shape. Is there an antenna at the base of your hairline? You couldn’t possible know, could you?