Building Your Brain

Image for Building Your BrainNot currently available on BBC iPlayer

Episode 3 of 4

Duration: 1 hour

In this episode, Michael Mosley traces our development from birth to adulthood, and reveals that the human brain is so sophisticated it takes more than twenty years to mature.

We see how new-born Phoebe makes sense of the world, and how one-year-old Angelina copes with just half a functioning brain. We discover how Moken Sea Gypsy children train themselves to see clearly underwater, and meet a Vietnamese girl who speaks 11 different languages.

Michael shows his own teenagers remarkable scans which reveal just how many brain connections we lose between the ages of 11 and 20. This remodelling is an essential part of growing up, and helps explain teen behaviour and their tendency to take risks - as illustrated by Stephanie, the world's youngest stock car racer at the age of 13.

  • Michael Mosley on Inside The Human Body

    Michael Mosley on Inside The Human Body

    "It's a series I greatly enjoyed making, partly because of the people in it like Gerald, partly because I learnt so much about the workings of my own body."

    Read and comment on Michael's post on the BBC TV blog
  • Press Red to learn about the making of the series

    Press Red to learn about the making of the series

    Produced as an accompaniment to the linear "Inside the Human Body" programme, this is the fascinating story of how the production team behind the 4-part series brought together the latest scientific research and the most innovative computer technology to create never-before-seen worlds for this BBC One landmark series.

    In Building Your Brain, it took months of scientific research to gather the information they needed to bring to life two of the most complex systems in the body: the workings of your middle ear and the complex and wondrous world of your retina.

    Press Red after each programme
    Thu 19th May, 21:55-04:00 (*Freeview 21:55-11:00pm)

    Watch the red button clip for episode 3
  • Birth of Baby Phoebe

    Birth of Baby Phoebe

    Charlotte Ewart gave birth to baby Phoebe at Whittington Hospital, Magdala Avenue, London.

  • Moken - Sea Gypsies

    Moken - Sea Gypsies

    The Sea Gypsies known as The Moken have an incredible ability that allows them to have crystal clear vision underwater. They were filmed at Mu Koh Surin, Thailand.

    Video - How Moken children see with amazing clarity underwater
  • Michael walks a tightrope

    Michael walks a tightrope

    Michael learning to balance on a tightrope. He was trained by Alana Jones from the Hangar Arts Trust, Harrington Way, London which specialises in circus training.

    Visit the Hangar Arts Trust website
  • Rhumsiki in North Cameroon

    Rhumsiki in North Cameroon

    The tiny village of Rhumsiki in North Cameroon is home to children who learn balance and walking extremely soon after childbirth. Local mothers use special techniques to teach their young to walk at a very young age.

  • miraculous story of baby Angelina

    miraculous story of baby Angelina

    Angelina was born with a rare condition called Sturge-Weber syndrome. The disease meant that Angelina and her parents had to cope with scores of life threatening epileptic siezures every day. So as she approached her first birthday, her parents made the difficult decision for her to have an operation at Great Ormond Street Hospital which involved disconnecting the affected right half of her brain.

    She was filmed at the Sea Life Aquarium and at The London Eye, both of which are on London's Southbank

    Southbank London
  • Dynamo the Street magician

    Dynamo the Street magician

    Street magician Dynamo has performed for the likes of Will Smith, Jay Z and Coldplay and has a fast growing reputation around the world. He has also appeared on TV commercials for brands such as Adidas and O2 as well as Britain’s Got Talent.

    Dynamo's website
  • 11 year old who can speak 11 languages

    11 year old who can speak 11 languages

    Wendy Vo is a talented young 11 year old who can speak 11 different languages fluently. She was filmed in her home city of Charlotte, North Carolina, USA.

  • 13 year old Stock Car driver

    13 year old Stock Car driver

    13 year old Stephanie Beane is the world's youngest Stock Car Driver who competes against drivers up to three times her age. She was filmed at Winchester Speedway, Indiana, USA

    Winchester Speedway
  • Blind Mountain Climber

    Blind Mountain Climber

    Erik Weihenmayer is a blind adventurer who in this programme was filmed rock climbing Castleton Tower in Utah using a BrainPort device which transfers information to your brain via tongue stimulation.

    BrainPort Technology


Michael Mosley
Michael Mosley
Gideon Bradshaw
Executive Producer
Andrew Cohen
Executive Producer
Andrew Cohen
Gideon Bradshaw
Annabel Gillings


Buy online

Available on: DVD or Video download

From suppliers including: BBC Shop, iTunes

Where to buy

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Added. Check out your playlist Dismiss