A Brief Tour of Human Consciousness
From Impostor Poodles to Purple Numbers
Take a tour with the perfect guide to one of the strangest places in the natural world, the human mind.
How can some people come to believe that their poodle is an impostor? Or see colors in numbers? Internationally acclaimed neuroscientist, V.S. Ramachandran, now shares his unique insight into human consciousness in an entertaining, inspiring, and intellectually dazzling brief tour of the ultimate frontier—the thoughts in our heads.“V. S. Ramachandran is one of our most gifted physicians and expositors, and in this new book he illuminates everything he touches—whether it is phantom limbs and how they can be ‘cured’; or how the brain can generate illusions and delusions; or synesthesia and its relation to metaphor, creativity and art; or the ultimate questions of how brain relates to mind. A Brief Tour of Human Consciousness belongs to that rare category of scientific book, one as accessible as it is deep.”
A Brief Tour of Human Consciousness is made up of five investigations of the greatest mysteries of the brain. The first chapter shows how amputees feel pain in limbs they no longer have as it introduces the great revolution of our age: neuroscience. The second chapter walks through the way what we see determines our thoughts, and demonstrates the counterintuitive point that believing is in fact seeing. The third chapter takes a leap beyond cutting edge science to audaciously set out a general theory of beauty, explaining why, the world over, cultures have fundamentally similar notions of what is attractive. The fourth chapter explores the bizarre world of synesthetes, people who see colors in numbers, textures in smells, sounds in sights, and flavors in sounds. Finally, V. S. Ramachandran one of the foremost brain researchers in the world today, sums up the implications of the revolution in our understanding of consciousness, to make a fascinating argument about our essential sense of self and its distributed nature.
-Oliver Sacks, M.D.
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