- MP3 CD
- Publisher: Tantor Media, Inc; Unabridged edition (24 Dec. 2013)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1452668574
- ISBN-13: 978-1452668574
- Product Dimensions: 13.5 x 1.5 x 18.8 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 3,111,377 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Phantoms in the Brain: Probing the Mysteries of the Human Mind MP3 CD – Audiobook, MP3 Audio, Unabridged
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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 --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.
'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 --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.
Top Customer Reviews
I think this book may be the best way to learn about the brain because the book is just unputdownable but you learn so much.
Using examples gleaned from case histories, Dr Ramachandran takes us into the world of phantom limbs, people who see cartoons and more. Oprah it is not - rather it is a thought provoking glimpse into the yet to be fully understood workings of the brain. Recommended
Ramachandran understands the implications of all of his research in understanding how consciousness manifests itself. However, he tries too hard to form a grand unified 'neuroscientific metaphysics.'He also tries to use neurological means to substantiate personal beliefs and much of his hypotheses (he does emphasize the speculative nature of his theories, one must say) are currently tenuous. I suspect that he perhaps reduced the level of complexity of many of his theories to satisfy the layman and this is unfortunate if true.
To summarise, there are numerous positive points about this book e.g. the brilliant analysis of phantom limbs and the pratical solutions associated with it, the incredibly erudite and interesting exploration of neurological deficits in patients and therefore the improvement in understanding how our brains work and finally the substantial notes section in the back of the book for an interested reader. I must also say that the writing style is excellent, both engaging and humorous. However, I feel that Ramachandran has tried to extend his theories too far in the latter section of the book. They seem highly speculative and beyond the realm of conventional science at the moment.
Therefore, I reccommend that any individual may buy this to savour those early chapters however be wary of the latter three or four chapters.
With his own patients he also sometimes devises deceptively simple experiments to probe their conditions further. Such as his Blue Peter-style mirror box which he uses on his neglect and phantom pain patients (two intriguing pathologies). The result is a fascinating book. My only slight gripe was with the last chapter, 12, which was supposed to be a summing up chapter about putting everything we'd learned together to tackle the problem of "self" via "qualia" -- the subjective, raw feel of something. For me he stretched what I'd learned in the preceding chapters too far and crammed too much information in. The result was that I finished a delightful book feeling a little frustrated. I'd like to give it 4.5 stars but demoting it to 4.0 would be too unfair.
Phantoms in the Brain is an excellent introduction to practical studies of phantom limbs syndrome, and thus into the workings of the human brain and the concept of body imaging.
As a direct consequence of reading this book, I then eagerly awaited his next offering, the transcript of those BBC Lectures.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
If ever a book illustrated that the brain is nothing more than a machine, albeit a profoundly complex one, then this is it: and this is why I am mystified as to why the author... Read morePublished 10 months ago by Mr. Charles R. Day
I loved this book. Utterly fascinating and I felt compelled to carry on with every page. Definitely insightful!Published 17 months ago by Caroline Nguyen
Brilliantly written and a great book for both students and the general interested readerPublished 20 months ago by Mrs. P. Triger
Very easy to read. Informative. Interesting variety of cases discussed. Some simple but awesome experiments mentioned that you can try for yourself. Read morePublished 21 months ago by Ramya
Received in good time and condition. Probably the most informative book in the world regarding the human condition. Written with humour and empathyPublished on 9 Nov. 2014 by Christine Gaughan
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