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Bond villain fails neuroanatomy

The thrills and action in Spectre, the latest James Bond film, were somewhat marred for this viewer by a fundamental neuroanatomical blunder.

The scene is a Moroccan desert. Bond's nemesis is torturing our hero using a head clamp fused with a robotic drill. Intending to erase Bond's memory of faces, the villain says he is directing his drill to the (lateral) “fusiform gyrus”— correctly identifying a core brain area for facial recognition (J. Parvizi et al. J. Neurosci. 32, 14915–14920; 2012).

But the film-makers got it wrong. Whereas the drill should have been aimed just in front of 007's ear, it was directed below the mastoid process under and behind his left ear. There it would have met the lateral part of the first or second cervical vertebra, perhaps hitting the ipsilateral vertebral artery and triggering a stroke or massive haemorrhage. Unless fatal, it certainly would not have deleted the bank of faces in Bond's memory.

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Correspondence to Michael D. Cusimano.

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Cusimano, M. Bond villain fails neuroanatomy. Nature 528, 479 (2015).

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