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A Brief Tour of Human Consciousness: From Impostor Poodles to Purple Numbers Paperback – July 26, 2005
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Top Customer Reviews
It is hard to believe that there are still people who think the brain is little more than a radio receiver, a set of mechanical controls for a disembodied spirit to manipulate the body. Ramachandran's book--like the case studies of Oliver Sacks and A.N. Luria--shows how wrongheaded that view is.
This is a thin (112 pages of text, 45 pages of notes), very accessible and entertaining book. If you enjoy the works of Sacks and Luria, you are likely to enjoy this as well. This is not a collection of case studies, though there are some descriptions of particular patients--it is written from a higher elevation, bringing together recent results, explaining unusual phenomena, and speculating about how those phenomena may tie in to a further understanding of the details of the brain's function.Read more ›
Despite the complex ideas, the discussion is lucid and engaging. Dr. Ramachandran has the courage to suggest new hypotheses and to propose experiments to test them, and he also has a sense of humor.
The author writes in the Introduction, "As my colleague Oliver Sacks said of one of his books: `the real book is in the endnotes, Rama,`" which is certainly true of this edition. There are 45 pages of endnotes for 112 pages of text. The endnotes contain the most interesting discussions and the clearest exposition, which is why I was very disappointed to see that endnotes 11 and 12, the final pair of endnotes in the last chapter, appear to be missing from the Endnotes section. I would really like to read what the author has to say about Anton's syndrome and hypnotic induction. Perhaps the author or publisher could post these on a website somewhere.
The Glossary in the back of the book is substantially the same as the one provided on the BBC website for the original talks. Because of the nature of the subject, it contains both technical scientific terms like _phosphorylation_ and some philosophical terms like _qualia_.Read more ›
Don't bother reading this book if you've already read Phantoms in the Brain. But if you haven't read it, I highly, highly recommend Phantoms.
Ramachandran seems to have chosen to follow in the footsteps of another great--Stephen Hawking--by writing one great book and following it up with an endless stream of successively shorter, "more accessible" versions of the same book.
The attempts to make more accessible that which was already readily accessible have put Ramachandran in danger of over-simplifying the material.
Warning: This allegedly 208-page book includes only 113 pages of "Phantom" rehash and then notes.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The author of this book is an internationally known neuroscientist, Dr. V. S. Ramachandran. I have also read two other books by the same author. Read morePublished 10 months ago by Suresh C. Mathur
Always been interested in brain science...but the other reviews are helpful in explaining for non scientists. Brain Science is extremely fascinating and wonderful. Read morePublished 11 months ago by Neal Kohli
I'd no doubt call it an excellent introductory book to consciousness. It definitely provides everything that's advertised, and I love Ramachandran's writing style.Published 21 months ago by k20z1
Ramachandran is always good to read. However, the material in this book is much the same as in his book "The tell-tale brain", which I happen to have - which, by the way,... Read morePublished on January 1, 2014 by Bertil Osterberg
A Journey from Neuronal Transmission to Human Cognition
How could someone have sensations in a limb that is no longer there? Read more
This book is an introduction to Dr. Ramachandran's insights into the interplay of different structures and functions of the brain that give rise to the emergent property of... Read morePublished on September 29, 2013 by Anish S. Potnis