The structural, cognitive and visual development of the human brain and retina strictly require long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (LC-PUFA). Excluding water, the mammalian brain is about 60% lipid. One of the great unanswered questions with respect to biological science in general is the absolute necessity of the LC-PUFA docosahexaenoic acid (DHA; 22:6n-3) in these fast signal processing tissues. A lipid of the same chain length with just one less diene group, docosapentaenoic acid (DPA; 22:5n-6) is fairly abundant in terrestrial food chains yet cannot substitute for DHA. Gradient Temperature Raman spectroscopy (GTRS) applies the temperature gradients utilized in differential scanning calorimetry to Raman spectroscopy, providing a straightforward technique to identify molecular rearrangements that occur near and at phase transitions. Herein we apply GTRS to DPA, and DHA from -100 to 20°C. 20 Mb three-dimensional data arrays with 1°C increments and first/second derivatives allows complete assignment of solid, liquid and transition state vibrational modes, including low intensity/frequency vibrations that cannot be readily analyzed with conventional Raman. DPA and DHA show significant spectral changes with premelting (-33 and -60°C, respectively) and melting (-27 and -44°C, respectively). The CH2-(HC=CH)-CH2 moieties are not identical in the second half of the DHA and DPA structures. The DHA molecule contains major CH2 twisting (1265 cm-1) with no noticeable CH2 bending, consistent with a flat helical structure with small pitch. Further modeling of neuronal membrane phospholipids must take into account this structure for DHA, which would be configured parallel to the hydrophilic head group line.