A Brief Tour of Human Consciousness: From Impostor Poodles to Purple Numbers (Paperback)
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
About the Author
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.
“V. S. Ramachandran is one of our most gifted physicians and expositors, and in this new book he illuminates everything he touches—whether it is phantom limbs and how they can be ‘cured’; or how the brain can generate illusions and delusions; or synesthesia and its relation to metaphor, creativity and art; or the ultimate questions of how brain relates to mind. A Brief Tour of Human Consciousness belongs to that rare category of scientific book, one as accessible as it is deep.”—Oliver Sacks, M.D., bestselling author of Gratitude and On the Move
“Packed with ideas that are bold, irreverent, original, and ingenious. A breath of fresh air.”—David Hubel, Nobel Laureate, Harvard University
“An extraordinary book by a remarkable scientist!... the modern Paul Broca.”—Eric R. Kandel, M.D., Nobel Laureate, Columbia University
"An engaging book featuring a remarkable degree of insight, originality, and erudition.”—Neurology Today