V S Ramachandran Sandra Blakeslee , Ramachandran .
Few years back I read Oliver SacksThe Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat and Other Clinical Talesand was amazed by the cases presented This book is even astounding human brain is such a mystery even today.
I knew about amputees phantom limbs but not to this extent And these are not the only cases one woman did not recognize her arm, saying it s his brother s others completely lost perception of their left part of the body and surroundings Another, after a car accident, did not recognize his parents, saying they look alike but they are imposters and they are not the only ones All these strange behaviors because of minor or not so minor damage to the brain.
There are also quite a few experiments done to understand how brain works and how it remaps the body, like I think this was a good book to read after reading Susan Sontag While Sontag says that the we attribute a disease to our mind and to our attitudes the it betrays our ignorance, Ramachandran tries to answer questions like Can your mental attitude really help cure asthma and cancer For example, VSR is courageous enough to venture into esoteric areas such as mind body connection and divine visions and sound them out with the backing of science and a curious imagination.
The Victorian attitude that VSR brings to these explorations make the book a pleasure to read and you too can play Sherlock with the neuroscientist as he goes about snooping in the recesses of the mind in each of the cases.
The most basic questions about the human mind are still mysteries to us How do we recognize faces Why do we cry Why do HOLY CRAP.
This is the best book about neuroscience and cog sci for a popular audience ever written by someone not named Oliver Sacks Ramachandran is, as one of the cover reviews says, profoundly sane, and has a real sense of what you can get from the scientific method and what you can t, and really understands the way questions that used to be philosophical are inching into the realm of the empirical.
He also is sometimes hilarious, really up on the other great popular scientific thinkers out there right now, and has examples and experiments that will completely blow your mind, Man who mistook his wife for a hat style and THEN some Then, once it s blown, he will spend a great deal of time fitting it into the context of just what that means about our understanding of the large scale structure of the brain r í Phantoms in the Brain: Probing the Mysteries of the Human Mind ↠´ This is a book about psychology, neuroscience, all the good stuff Ramachandran is delightfully witty and approaches the big and small questions of psychology and neuroscience with curiosity and equal doses of scepticism and speculation alike One of the truly good things about Phantoms in the Brain is that it is written with humility and humour Ramachandran manages to expound whilst being hilarious and without dumbing down , so to speak The book isn t an overtly serious nature thesis so it follows a rather non stuffy style, which is refreshing It mainly consists of anecdotes and cases culled from wide ranging medical literature, so it serves as a ground for inquiry into the nature, symptoms, effects and treatments of the various psychological anomalies The book doesn t shy away from supporting the cases with eviden
This book is a direct flight into to the Limbo I begin to like Dr Ramachandran Such a remarkable, intelligent, and humble man, someone who would make a nice companion during long campfires The phantom limbs this book famously talks about is well known now But it talks about much than that The brain is after all a complex thing We hardly understand how it ticks and many things that pass on as bogus, like clairvoyance, are not completely unprovable given the limitations of brain study That Ramachandran is willing to stray into the tall claims made by mystics is a wonder and a joy because most of the self serious scientists don t like to get their hands dirty.
The book informs us that phantom limbs occur because the brain s body image the mapping of each body part in the brain gets altered due to shock or some other reason This is a plausible theory Consider a man who has an amputated leg and w This is the second book about neuro psychology I ve read and it has been an entirely new experience The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat was and reflected in the title as such mainly amusing On the other hand, Phantoms in the Brain is as, again, suggested by the title quite disturbing The first focused on weird cases per se, collecting stories only because they were odd, hence unique The second looks at the same kind of stories as unexpected ways to understand and generalize the inner workings of the brain.
And the message is unsettling, even if not entirely surprising It s one thing to presume that sometimes appearances are tricky and a totally different one to learn that you can never totally rely on your senses or your judgment, because almost everything can be simulated by your brain as proved by the symptoms pa
Ramachandran É 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 DenialA 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 TimeDr 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