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Phantoms in the Brain: Probing the Mysteries of the Human Mind Taschenbuch – Illustriert, 18. August 1999

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Taschenbuch, Illustriert, 18. August 1999
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"Enthralling . . . eloquent." -- "The New York Times Book Review ""This is a splendid book." -- Dr. Francis Crick, Nobel Laureate

Der Verlag über das Buch

"One of the world's leading brain researchers¿"
A young man loses his right arm in a motorcycle accident. Yet he continues to feel a phantom arm with vivid sensations of movement. He can wave it around, "touch" things and even reach out and "grab" a coffee cup; pull the cup away from him and he yelps in pain. "I can feel it being wrenched away from my fingers," he says. After nine months of pregnancy, a woman experiences labor pains and is rushed to the hospital. Her abdomen is huge. Everything proceeds normally except for one thing. There is no baby. Her pregnancy is the result of an extraordinary delusion called phantom pregnancy. An engineer develops a large blind spot in her visual field, which is troubling enough. But to her dismay, she often sees cartoon characters cavorting within the blind spot itself. When she looks at people seated across from her, she might see Bugs Bunny in their laps. Sometimes it's Elmer Fudd. Or the RoadRunner. This story and many others are the subject of PHANTOMS IN THE BRAIN: Probing the Mysteries of the Human Mind (Quill/William Morrow, September 2, 1999, $15.00) by noted professor of neuroscience and psychology V.S. Ramachandran and award-winning New York Times science writer Sandra Blakeslee. None of these people is "crazy." They don't have psychiatric problems. Rather they suffer from damage to specific locations in the brain. And although mysterious disorders like these have perplexed physicians throughout history, they are usually chalked up as curiosities. But now renowned neurologist V. S. Ramachandran has taken another, potentially more rewarding approach to these late night tales of neurology. Dr. Ramachandran finds that, far from being mere anomalies, these cases illustrate fundamental principles of the normal human mind, shedding new light on the nature of body image, dreams, laughter, memory, depression, body image, language and other complex aspects of human nature. As a pioneer in the emerging discipline of experimental neurology, Dr. Ramachandran brings patients out of the clinic and into the laboratory to conduct brilliant experiments which help reveal the deep architecture of all our brains. It is a brand new field of science, one that is popularized in PHANTOMS IN THE BRAIN for the first time. By working with patients who vehemently deny the obvious, it's now possible to see how and why denial mechanisms arise even in people who are otherwise normal and what parts of their brain might be involved. Dr. Ramachandran has found that the human brain has a tremendous need to create a unified belief system-a script that helps us make sense of our lives. When new evidence threatens the "storyline," the left hemisphere resorts to denial and confabulation. It does so mainly to avoid being hounded by directionless indecision or being overwhelmed by a cacophony of possible stories flowing into the senses. His experiments on phantom limbs have equally broad implications. They challenge two of the most widely accepted dogmas about how the brain works-the view that no new neural pathways can emerge in the adult brain and the idea that the brain consists of specialized parts or modules that seldom interact. Dr. Ramachandran's studies on phantom limbs reveal that in fact the brain is a dynamic, stunningly complex biological system in which new connections are being made and unmade throughout life as it updates its model of reality. Experimental neurology has the potential to revolutionize our understanding of the mind and the brain. It can illuminate many of the big questions in modern cognitive neuroscience: · How do we construct a body image? · What is the self? · What brings about the seamless unity of subjective experience? · What is free will? Why do we dream? · Why do we laugh? · How does the activity of little wisps of protoplasm in the brain lead to the richness and vividness of our conscious experience? · Is there a "religion center" in the brain that explains the almost universal existence of organized religion? In answering these questions, Dr. Ramachandran shows his skill with both theory and practice, asking seemingly intractable questions and then devising simple and elegant experiments to distinguish between the possible answers and clear the way for further research. Written in engaging, concise and accessible prose, PHANTOMS IN THE BRAIN is both informative and entertaining. Dr. Ramachandran shows an unusual empathy for his patients -- many of whom were simply labelled "crazy" by other medical experts. This tour de force through the hills and valleys of the human mind will forever change any reader's perception of the miracle of consciousness. Drawing on his vast clinical experience, the intricate details of neuroscience and the related fields of psychology, evolutionary biology, art and general medicine, Dr. Ramachandran has crafted a magnificent, landmark study of the human mind at work. Vilayanur S. Ramachandran

Vilayanur S. Ramachandran M.D., Ph.D. was recently named by Newsweek as one of the 100 most important people to watch in the next century. Dr. Ramachandran is professor and director of the Center for Brain and Cognition, UCSD, La Jolla, and adjunct professor of the Salk Institute, La Jolla. He has published over a hundred professional articles (including three invited reviews in Scientific American) and is a recipient of numerous honors and awards. He gave the "Decade of the Brain" lecture a the 25th annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience, was elected a fellow of All Souls College, Oxford University and received the John F. Streff Gold Medal from the neuro-optometric rehabilitation association of USA. In 1997, he was elected distinguished foundation fellow and awarded a Gold Medal by the Australian National University.

Sandra Blakeslee An award winning science writer for The New York Times, specializing in neuroscience, She is the co-author of the national bestseller Second Chances and The Good Marriage. She lives in Santa Fe, NM


  • Herausgeber ‏ : ‎ William Morrow Paperbacks; Illustrated Edition (18. August 1999)
  • Sprache ‏ : ‎ Englisch
  • Taschenbuch ‏ : ‎ 352 Seiten
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 0688172172
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0688172176
  • Abmessungen ‏ : ‎ 15.54 x 2.24 x 23.5 cm
  • Kundenrezensionen:
    4,7 von 5 Sternen 412 Sternebewertungen

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Mr. Charles R. Day
5,0 von 5 Sternen One odd conclusion.
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5,0 von 5 Sternen Well written and informative
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Dan Coffey
4,0 von 5 Sternen Good follow up to Oliver Sacks' work
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5,0 von 5 Sternen Better than Oliver Sachs
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Bryn Griffith
5,0 von 5 Sternen Hugely interesting insights into what it is to be human.
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