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Phantoms in the Brain: Human Nature and the Architecture of the Mind Paperback – 20 May 1999

4.4 out of 5 stars 38 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Fourth Estate Ltd; New Ed edition (6 May 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1857028953
  • ISBN-13: 978-1857028959
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 2.3 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars 38 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 12,183 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Amazon Review

What would you say about a woman who, despite stroke-induced paralysis crippling the entire left side of her body, insists that she is whole and strong--who even sees her left hand reach out to grasp objects? Freud called it "denial"; neurologists call it "anosognosia". However it may be labelled, this phenomenon and others like it allow us peeks into other mental worlds and afford us considerable insight into our own.

The writings of Oliver Sacks and others have shown us that we can learn much about ourselves by looking closely at the deficits shown by people with neurological problems. VS Ramachandran has seen countless patients suffering from anosognosia, phantom limb pain, blindsight and other disorders, and he brings a remarkable mixture of clinical intuition and research savvy to bear on their problems. He is one of the few scientists who are able and willing to explore the personal, subjective ramifications of his work; he rehumanizes an often too-sterile field and captures the spirit of wonder so essential for true discovery. Phantoms in the Brain is equal parts medical mystery, scientific adventure, and philosophical speculation; Ramachandran's writing is smart, caring, and very, very funny.

Whether you're curious about the workings of the brain, interested in alternatives to expensive, high-tech science (much of Ramachandran's research is done with materials found around the home), or simply want a fresh perspective on the nature of human consciousness, you'll find satisfaction withPhantoms in the Brain. --Rob Lightner

Review

'Gloriously accessible ... written with humility and intelligent generosity, Phantoms In The Brain grips from start to finish.' -- Guardian

'If you are at all interested in how your brain works, this is the book you must read.' -- Dr Francis Crick, Nobel Laureate

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