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

Front Cover
Pi Press, 2005 - Medical - 192 pages
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, including:

-how amputees feel pain in limbs they no longer have, which introduces the great revolution of our age: neuroscience
-the way what we see determines our thoughts, and the counterintuitive point that believing is in fact seeing
-why, the world over, cultures have fundamentally similar notions of what is attractive
-the bizarre world of synesthetes, people who see colors in numbers, textures in smells, sounds in sights, and flavors in sounds
-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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User Review  - HadriantheBlind - LibraryThing

A quite interesting book, examining the workings of the human brain through deviations from normal function. Voluminous and very helpful endnotes. Need to find more from this author. Read full review

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User Review  - Michael.Xolotl - LibraryThing

Very basic but excellent (necessarily partial) overview; particularly interesting passages about the neurological basis of art, linguistics, and consciousness. Pointless insertions of the author's inconsequential political views (but what's new?). Recommended. 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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