Would you erase me from your life and memory?
The movie “Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind” underlies the scientific discussion about whether our mind is governed by localized or distributed activity in the brain. Is the neural orchestra of our mental functions localized or distributed throughout the brain? The movie starts with the localized theory that is represented by the Lacuna Inc., the company that offers the service of erasing all memories related to one’s person… A non-traditional and impulsive girl (Clementine, Kate Winslet) erases her boyfriend (Joel, Jim Carrey) from her mind with all the memories related to him. Then, Joel figures out what Clementine had just done, and hires Lacuna Inc. to do the same procedure with his memories of Clementine… but during his procedure, he changes his mind, trying to stop it but it was too late, and the company succeeds on erasing Clementine and all memories related to her. The movie then approaches the distributed theory of brain activity when Joel changes his regular routine in an unconsciousness act driven by the familiarity of the name Montauk, a special place for their erased relationship… and they meet each other for the first time (if we consider that they can’t recall the fact that they were in love before). This brilliant fiction written by Charlie Kaufman present us the both models of the relation between mind activity and brain activity that have been conciliated in the study of cognition with the help of Neuroimaging techniques, suggesting that the integrity of our mental functions is at the same time specified and distributed throughout the brain.
Note Clementine’s hair-color and her emotional state.