Phantoms in the Brain: Probing the Mysteries of the Human Mind
Neuroscientist V.S. Ramachandran is internationally renowned for uncovering answers to the deep and quirky questions of human nature that few scientists have dared to address. His bold insights about the brain are matched only by the stunning simplicity of his experiments -- using such low-tech... show more
Neuroscientist V.S. Ramachandran is internationally renowned for uncovering answers to the deep and quirky questions of human nature that few scientists have dared to address. His bold insights about the brain are matched only by the stunning simplicity of his experiments -- using such low-tech tools as cotton swabs, glasses of water and dime-store mirrors. In Phantoms in the Brain, Dr. Ramachandran recounts how his work with patients who have bizarre neurological disorders has shed new light on the deep architecture of the brain, and what these findings tell us about who we are, how we construct our body image, why we laugh or become depressed, why we may believe in God, how we make decisions, deceive ourselves and dream, perhaps even why we're so clever at philosophy, music and art. Some of his most notable cases:A woman paralyzed on the left side of her body who believes she is lifting a tray of drinks with both hands offers a unique opportunity to test Freud's theory of denial. A man who insists he is talking with God challenges us to ask: Could we be "wired" for religious experience? A woman who hallucinates cartoon characters illustrates how, in a sense, we are all hallucinating, all the time.Dr. Ramachandran's inspired medical detective work pushes the boundaries of medicine's last great frontier -- the human mind -- yielding new and provocative insights into the "big questions" about consciousness and the self.
Publish date: August 18th 1999
Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks
Pages no: 352
Edition language: English
, Popular Science
Fascinating stuff. Ramachandran explores the relatively new field of neuroscience, through speculation, hypothesises and some fairly low-tech experimentation – conjuring an image of a brain that perceives reality through complex pathways which can warp reality in strange ways when damaged, revealing...
The experiments Ramachandran designed to investigate the phantom limb phenomenon (experienced by some people following an amputation) are ingenious and elegant and can fairly be said to have advanced our understanding of how proprioception (our awareness of our body in space) is organised in the hum...
Paperback: 384 pagesPublisher: Fourth Estate; New Ed edition (6 May 1999)Language EnglishISBN-10: 1857028953ISBN-13: 978-1857028959Wow! what a gem of a book - recommended to me by and cram packed with interesting 'stuff' and headology of myriad ilks. The brain is such an interesting landscape where...