Toronto, Dec 30 (IANS) If you have seen new James Bond movie “Spectre,” can you spot a medical error that the villain made while putting Bond to a robotic brain drill to impair his ability to recognise faces?
A real-life neurosurgeon and scientist has spotted the error, claiming that James Bond’s nemesis in the most recent film likely failed neuroanatomy.
Ernst Stavro Blofeld, played by Hollywood actor Christoph Waltz, tortured Bond using restraints and a head clamp system fused with a robotic drill, intending to first inflict pain and then erase 007’s memory bank of faces.
“But Blofeld didn’t quite know his brain anatomy and would’ve probably hit Daniel Craig’s vertebral artery and likely killed his character instead,” said Dr. Michael Cusimano of St. Michael’s Hospital.
Aiming to erase Bond’s memory of faces, the villain correctly identified the lateral fusiform gyrus as an area of the brain responsible for recognising faces.
“But in practice, the drill was placed in the wrong area, where it likely would have triggered a stroke or massive hemorrhage,” Dr Cusimano explained.
Although the filmmakers identified the correct part of the brain thought to be involved in the recognition of faces, the placement of the drill was incorrect,” wrote Dr. Cusimano.
The lateral fusiform gyrus is located in the temporal area just in front of the left ear.
However, Blofeld aimed the drill just below and behind the left ear, where the vertebral artery and bones of the neck are located.
“In terms of today’s precision brain surgery, the villain was nowhere near the brain,” Dr Cusimano noted.
Despite the anatomy fumble, Dr Cusimano was impressed by Blofeld’s grasp of neuroscience.
Because the lateral fusiform gyrus involved in memory, it’s theoretically possible to impair a person’s ability to recognise faces.
“There are documented patients that have ‘face blindness’ or prosopagnosia. But in this situation, he was so far off, that had Blofeld been my student, he would have surely failed his neuroanatomy,” he chuckled.
Dr. Cusimano said he remains a fan of the film and was highly entertained but thinks Hollywood filmmakers should possibly hire a neurosurgery expert next time, he is happily available.
His commentary on the error was published in the science journal Nature.