Synopses & Reviews
In this landmark work, V. S. Ramachandran investigates strange, unforgettable cases -- from patients who believe they are dead to sufferers of phantom limb syndrome. With a storyteller's eye for compelling case studies and a researcher's flair for new approaches to age-old questions, Ramachandran tackles the most exciting and controversial topics in brain science, including language, creativity, and consciousness.
"Remarkably clear and engaging." Elizabeth Floyd Mair
"[Ramachandran] skillfully walks the line between intriguing storytelling and detailed science in these readable tales of unusual patients." Times Union
"[Ramachandran] has done as much as anyone to reveal the workings of the mind through the malfunctions of the brain." Frank Bures Scientific American Mind
"A profound, intriguing and compelling guide to the intricacies of the human brain." Oliver Sacks
"A physician (like Oliver Sacks, a neurologist) as well as a researcher, Ramachandran uses his neurology patients' predicaments to inspire inquiries into how we see and know, the origins of language, the mental basis of civilization, how we conceive of and assess art, and how the self is constructed. Always careful to point out when he is speculating rather than announcing research findings, he is also prompt to emphasize why his speculations, or theories, are not just of the armchair variety but can be put to the test because of what neuroscience has already discovered about the active structures of the human brain." Booklist (Starred Review)
Drawing on strange and thought-provoking case studies, an eminent neurologist offers unprecedented insight into the evolution of the uniquely human brain.
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
About the Author
V. S. Ramachandran is the director of the Center for Brain and Cognition and a Distinguished Professor with the Psychology Department and Neurosciences Program at the University of California, San Diego. He lives in Del Mar, California.