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The Tell-Tale Brain Audiobook

The Tell-Tale Brain: A Neuroscientist's Quest for What Makes Us Human

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.
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Publisher's Summary

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

What the Critics Say

"Ramachandran produces an exhilarating and at times funny text that invites discussion and experimentation." (Kirkus)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.1 (319 )
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  •  
    Amazon Customer 08-08-15
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    "Yawn - couldn't finish it."

    Maybe a med student would find this riveting but for me it just went on and on with local little to exite my interest.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    P. Smith 04-14-15
    P. Smith 04-14-15 Member Since 2013

    ps

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    "A good read/listen"
    What did you love best about The Tell-Tale Brain?

    The personal anecdotes made this book much more understandable and enjoyable


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Tell-Tale Brain?

    The pt. who "knew" his mother was an imposter


    What about David Drummond’s performance did you like?

    very well delivered


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    A road trip through the brain.


    Any additional comments?

    I knew most of what was in this book but it was very entertaining, and I enjoyed it very
    much.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amanda Reynolds Cheney, WA 03-14-15
    Amanda Reynolds Cheney, WA 03-14-15 Member Since 2015

    Odin Oddly

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    "Fascinating!"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Etheraldreamer 02-10-15
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    "Insight in paradigm changing doses"
    If you could sum up The Tell-Tale Brain in three words, what would they be?

    Illuminating, Explanatory, Psycho-Physics


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Tell-Tale Brain?

    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.


    Have you listened to any of David Drummond’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    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.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    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.


    Any additional comments?

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Matt Tampa, Florida, United States 05-24-14
    Matt Tampa, Florida, United States 05-24-14 Member Since 2016
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    "Top Notch Brain Stuff"
    Where does The Tell-Tale Brain rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    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.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Pony Atlanta 05-19-14
    Pony Atlanta 05-19-14 Member Since 2012
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    "Fascinating, enlightening and a little bizzare"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    bpjammin 05-05-14
    bpjammin 05-05-14 Member Since 2012
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    "Great Insight in Easy tl Comprehend Language"
    Any additional comments?

    An engaging probe into the recesses of the brain with extremely interesting findings. A quirky recounting of his brilliant research.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jason FPO, AP, United States 11-19-13
    Jason FPO, AP, United States 11-19-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Interesting thoughts on how we think"

    Dr Ramachandran delivers a very interesting book with several provoking ideas on exactly how we think, from a physical and neurological viewpoint.

    I found the concept and explanatory powers of "mirror neurons" quite fascinating, and would very much be interested in seeing where future research leads in that area.

    I also appreciated the Oliver Sacks-like case studies, where strange and weird mental phenomena and behavior was examined and (at least theoretical) explanations were offered.

    The production quality is top-notch, save I think the narrator mispronounced two words -- very minor complaint, I know. The reading is otherwise flawless, and captures well both the excitement and thoroughness of Ramachandran's thoughts, as well as the bewilderment, confusion, and personality of the case subjects.

    If you are interested in the inner workings of the brain, and what that might tells us in terms of examining mind and consciousness, I highly recommend this book!

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Raleigh greensboro, NC, United States 02-27-13
    Raleigh greensboro, NC, United States 02-27-13 Member Since 2009
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    "the most human organ / a guided tour"

    ? just what exactly do we know about how the brain works
    ? if we did know more, could we then understand ourselves better
    ? who'd be bright enough to both understand and explain all this

    v.s. ramachandran is more than up to this monumental task
    the explosion of new detailed brain studies provides his raw material
    his near mythic status in the medical community provides his authority

    years ago using only a mirror and a q-tip he unraveled "phantom pain"
    this sad, untreatable condition had been recognized for centuries
    it took someone of ramachandran's blazing insight to solve its' riddle

    he clearly sees himself as flying at an altitude that others only dream of
    a lack of confidence doesn't seem to be a problem he has ever had
    but it takes that sort of hubris to tackle an issue this vast and significant

    the anatomical nomenclature will probably over whelm some readers
    the rapid pace of new discoveries means he'll need a new edition in a few years
    this is a very exciting time in history to be an investigational neuroscientist

    the most exciting sections of the book dealt with neuro-plasticity
    ? can nerves and nerve signals be repaired or rerouted
    ? can we contemplate therapy for diseases we once thought were untreatable

    recent advances in neuro-imaging and function studies rival the discovery of DNA
    we now have a window into that most human and complex of all organs
    this book is a compelling first step in understanding this bold, new world

















    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Eleanor 09-25-12
    Eleanor 09-25-12 Member Since 2012
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    "Fascinating, but needs an editor"
    Any additional comments?

    A really fascinating book, combining cognitive science with speculation about the nature of consciousness (and clearly differentiating between the two). The tone is rather pompous (and the reader doesn't help) but the real problem is that sentences and phrases get repeated verbatim throughout the book, making you wonder if you hit the wrong button on your iPod.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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