V. S. Ramachandran is at the forefront of his field - so much so that Richard Dawkins dubbed him the "Marco Polo of neuroscience". Now, in a major new work, Ramachandran sets his sights on the mystery of human uniqueness.
Taking us to the frontiers of neurology, he reveals what baffling and extreme case studies can teach us about normal brain function and how it evolved. Synesthesia becomes a window into the brain mechanisms that make some of us more creative than others. And autism - for which Ramachandran opens a new direction for treatment - gives us a glimpse of the aspect of being human that we understand least: self-awareness.
Ramachandran tackles the most exciting and controversial topics in neurology with a storyteller's eye for compelling case studies and a researcher's flair for new approaches to age-old questions. Tracing the strange links between neurology and behavior, this book unveils a wealth of clues into the deepest mysteries of the human brain.
PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your My Library section along with the audio.
©2011 V.S. Ramachandran (P)2011 Tantor
"Ramachandran produces an exhilarating and at times funny text that invites discussion and experimentation." (Kirkus)
one pet peeve from this book is that it refers to drawings and figures that you can't see with the audio book. I bought the book mostly because of my curiosity about autism. There was some interesting information but there's a lot of information that I found boring
I found the discussion quite lucid but one really needs the text version of the book to see the illustrations that are referred to. I bought that one as well. One other reviewer who read the authors earlier books indicated that not much new was offered. I haven't read his earlier books but paid attention to dates of the studies referred to. If I recall correctly I didn't hear of any study later than 2004. So maybe the other reviewer is correct. I'm going to check the bibliography of the text version. One note the last two chapters are speculative and theoretical and we're harder to follow compared to the earlier chapters. I still think if you are interested in how our brains work this book will definitely add to your understanding.
This is an interesting survey of the functions of various parts of the brain, as well as illustrative stories of various disfunctions to walk you through the functions given to that area of the brain. There were a lot of illuminating examples. His style is more popular than Oliver Sack's Awakening, which was overly clinical for my tastes. This also doesn't appear to be targeted at medical students either, although he does describe various ideas for experiments to explore further possible theories around particular functions. His own technique of discovering is quite simple and practical. My own bone to pick, is that in some of the early chapters his descriptions of women felt overly sensual. I was feeling some discomfort in the descriptions. I suggest that might just be me, but I'd be curious if others noticed anything similar.
The personal anecdotes made this book much more understandable and enjoyable
The pt. who "knew" his mother was an imposter
very well delivered
A road trip through the brain.
I knew most of what was in this book but it was very entertaining, and I enjoyed it very
I loved how differently this made me look at my own mind. It was informative, it was written in a way the lay-person could understand, and it was fun to listen to. I would recommend this book to people interested in the brain, in psychology, or anyone involved with childhood development or caregiving. I will be listening again.
Illuminating, Explanatory, Psycho-Physics
Hearing of the detailed experiments devised to tease out information away from the variables. Singling out what you want to look at is difficult in every area of science, but such a tall task in the sometimes seemingly chaotic soup of the brain's many processes.
I have not before. I was very impressed. Initially upon downloading I was disappointed to find it was not read by Ramachandran himself as I've grown fond of his endearing accent from many hours of lecture online. This proved not to bother me no more than a minute or two into the recording. Mr. Drummond does an outstanding job being clear while still managing to exude some of the boundless enjoyment and fascination that should come from any pop science offering.
You, the you behind your eyes, are a vivid hallucination pieced together by many subtle seemingly disconnected processes. Whenever any of these processes fail, you change radically. Follow us as we discover some of the myriad pillars of consciousness. As we discover who you really are.
Highly recommend a fairly firm grasp of evolutionary theory. Though it can likely be enjoyed without a university level grasp, much subtlety (read elegant beauty) would be lost.
This book is very entertaining, and high quality neuroscience. it is fairly easy to follow, considering its topic. i would put it in the top five books of its type. i think in some ways it is better than David Eaglemen's Incognito, but would put it slightly behind Steven Pinker or Leonard Mlodniow. My only reason for giving four starts, instead of 5, is because the book feels a little light or incomplete, like Dr. R has stopped short, perhaps there is still science to be made. All that said, i would definitely buy his next book.
I absolutely love the way the author explains the brain, the most dynamic description. For someone who loves neurobiology but has never officially studied it, this was a very new way of thinking about the brain, so fluid versus static and compartmentalized. The portions on his actual research are much more entrancing then those on his speculations.
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