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A Brief Tour of Human Consciousnes.


Why do amputees have feeling in their missing limbs? HOW do people across cultures decide what body image is attractive? How do people known as synesthetes taste sounds and see colors in numbers? Ramachandran enlightens readers in this accessible overview of modern brain science. A noted researcher and neuroscientist at the University of California, San Diego, Ramachandran shares his own research, including case studies that illustrate the complexities of consciousness. This is a state, says the author, that science is finally close to understanding, thanks to advanced brain-imaging techniques and other methods for observing how the brain works. The author's research focuses primarily on neurological dysfunctions caused by small changes in a person's brain, These aberrations, in turn, can indicate how the normal brain functions.

For example, Ramachandran describes a case of Capgras' syndrome in which a man awakened from a coma feeling attachment to his dog but nothing for his mother. This type of behavior was once linked to Freudian complexes, but modern research has shown that it's the result of a disconnect of vision and emotion in the brain In this same way, Ramachandran provides physical explanations for delusions and hysteria. The book is derived from a series of lectures Ramachandran presented in Great Britain in 2003. An extensive notes section elaborates on topics presented in each talk. Pi Press, 2004, 192 p., hardcover, $23.95.
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Title Annotation:Books: a selection of new and notable books of scientific interest
Publication:Science News
Article Type:Book Review
Date:Oct 2, 2004
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