Phantoms in the Brain: Probing the Mysteries of the Human by V. S. Ramachandran, Sandra Blakeslee PDF

By V. S. Ramachandran, Sandra Blakeslee

Neuroscientist V.S. Ramachandran is across the world well known for uncovering solutions to the deep and quirky questions of human nature that few scientists have dared to handle. His daring insights in regards to the mind are matched simply via the lovely simplicity of his experiments -- utilizing such low-tech instruments as cotton swabs, glasses of water and dime-store mirrors. In Phantoms within the Brain,Dr. Ramachandran recounts how his paintings with sufferers who've weird and wonderful neurological issues has shed new mild at the deep structure of the mind, and what those findings let us know approximately who we're, how we build our physique snapshot, why we snort or develop into depressed, why we may perhaps think in God, how we make judgements, mislead ourselves and dream, maybe even why we're so shrewdpermanent at philosophy, song and artwork. a few of his such a lot impressive cases:
A girl paralyzed at the left facet of her physique who believes she is lifting a tray of beverages with either palms deals a distinct chance to check Freud's conception of denial. a guy who insists he's conversing with God demanding situations us to invite: may possibly we be "wired" for spiritual adventure? a girl who hallucinates caricature characters illustrates how, in a feeling, we're all hallucinating, forever. Dr. Ramachandran's encouraged scientific detective paintings pushes the limits of medicine's final nice frontier -- the human brain -- yielding new and provocative insights into the "big questions" approximately recognition and the self.

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Extra info for Phantoms in the Brain: Probing the Mysteries of the Human Mind

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Fuster does not put a ghost in the machine or homunculus in the mind. All along, it is the individual organism that is selecting what goals it will pursue within the constraints of its time horizon or capacity for retrospective and prospective functions. While Fuster acknowledges that PFC-injured patients display an inordinate degree of concreteness in their daily behavior, he believes that this is largely, if not solely, a temporal concreteness. “The patient suffers from an overall constriction of the scope and complexity of behavior and of the thinking behind it” (p.

Consider how we are to connect the inability of PFC patients to sort cards into categories or reorganize rings onto spindles to match a sample arrangement and that individual’s profound difficulties with ethical or moral conduct. What do such tasks tell us about the likelihood of the person having substantial difficulties with social relationships with others, with reciprocity and cooperation, or with participating in the community and obeying its laws? The fundamental basis of morality is awareness of one’s self over time in relation to others and the future consequences of one’s actions toward others and of others’ toward one’s self.

Also troubling in this empirical (statistical) approach is that typically the correlations among these various factors are relatively and disturbingly low, suggesting only 10–20% of shared variance among them. This finding Problems with the Concept of EF 23 is not encouraging of a central construct or general EF factor (Lehto, 1996). , 2000), however, this limited relationship among the factors could just as easily reflect the diversity of non-EF abilities that are also being sampled in the EF test batteries.

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Phantoms in the Brain: Probing the Mysteries of the Human Mind by V. S. Ramachandran, Sandra Blakeslee

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