//Naruto and unorthodox didactic methods

Naruto and unorthodox didactic methods

The Pandemic has left us with plenty of activities and experiences, some will want to rant about the lockdown while others have taken advantage of it like never before. In a very personal note and after going over and over it, I finally reached the Otaku dead end: to (at last) take the time to watch Naruto.

BY: Sanleera Vexadan

Image by Robina Weermeijer, from unsplash.com

To be honest I’m not going to review the show, the plot or the eternal debate of of it’s better than Dragon Ball (there are plenty of articles about that already).
There is something however, that I would like to point out.

Along season 8, there is a filler episode where we meet a character named “Yakumo Kurama”, a girl with nothing special except in the sense that her Illusion jutsu is capable of fooling mammal brains. This little lady’s jutsu could be quite conflictive in the sense that every time an opponent enters the illusion, everything that they see will become reality; this means it can harm, kill or make her opponents disappear by only imagining it. And this works because the victim’s brain is evolved into something that looks so real, they end up believing it and their bodies will emulate the perceived damage taken.
I decided I had to use this quite interesting fact to explain my Neuropsychology students show cerebral cortex evolution works. And went through it pretty much as follows:

The mammal brain is way more developed than in other species. In a hierarchy order, us humans are (in theory) the most evolved beings, while other species like insects have been less blessed (uhuh…). And this is the reason why this jutsu represents quite a challenge for our Leaf Village heroes, but the confident (and extravagant) Shino Aburame has a hidden ace to solve this situation: His insects. Because of course, since these don’t have a well developed cerebral cortex, they can’t be affected by Yakumo’s jutsu.

So, in this interesting episode, good Shino’s insects represent a great advantage for the Leaf shinobis, and making use of their archaic nervous system, they manage to to save the heroes, giving us something to wonder: Is our brain really an evolutionary adaptation or rather a tool that could be used against us? Could sensory overload be as dangerous as an illusion jutsu?

And whoever might say these questions are an unfounded exaggeration, maybe they should consider real phenomena: desert mirages, optical illusions which appear to be but are not really there, reality misconceptions or even mental illnesses like schizophrenia.

So, what would you think then?