A Brief Tour of Human Consciousness: From Impostor Poodles to Purple Numbers

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Pi Press, 2005 - Medical - 192 pages
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How can some people come to believe that their poodle is an impostor? Or see colors in numbers? Internationally acclaimed neuroscientist, V.S. Ramachandran, now shares his unique insight into human consciousness in an entertaining, inspiring, and intellectually dazzling brief tour of the ultimate frontier--the thoughts in our heads.

A Brief Tour of Human Consciousness is made up of five investigations of the greatest mysteries of the brain. The first chapter shows how amputees feel pain in limbs they no longer have as it introduces the great revolution of our age: neuroscience. The second chapter walks through the way what we see determines our thoughts, and demonstrates the counterintuitive point that believing is in fact seeing. The third chapter takes a leap beyond cutting edge science to audaciously set out a general theory of beauty, explaining why, the world over, cultures have fundamentally similar notions of what is attractive. The fourth chapter explores the bizarre world of synesthetes, people who see colors in numbers, textures in smells, sounds in sights, and flavors in sounds. Finally, V. S. Ramachandran one of the foremost brain researchers in the world today, sums up the implications of the revolution in our understanding of consciousness, to make a fascinating argument about our essential sense of self and its distributed nature.

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A brief tour of human consciousness: from imposter poodles to purple numbers

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The fast-moving and potentially revolutionary field of cognitive neuroscience counts among its elite Ramachandran (Ctr. for Brain & Cognition, Univ. of California, San Diego), who expounds upon some ... Read full review

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About the author (2005)

V. S. Ramachandran M.D., Ph.D., is director of the Center for Brain and Cognition and professor of psychology and neuroscience at the University of California, San Diego, and adjunct professor of biology at The Salk Institute. He has received many honors and awards including the presidential lecture award from the American Academy of Neurology and the Ramon Y Cajal award from the International Neuropsychiatry Society. He gave the inaugural keynote lecture at the Decade of the Brain conference held by National Institute of Mental Health at the Library of Congress. His critically acclaimed Phantoms in the Brain has been translated into eight languages. Newsweek named him a member of "the century club"--one of the hundred most prominent people to watch in the twenty-first century. He lives in Del Mar, California.

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