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The tell-tale brain: a neuroscientist's quest for what makes us human/ CHAPTER 1 PHANTOM LIMBS AND PLASTIC BRAINS. CHAPTER 2 SEEING AND. “[Ramachandran] has done as much as anyone to reveal the workings of the mind through the malfunctions of the brain.” - Anthony Gottlieb, New York Times. unique human ability to apprehend one's own existence. Like my previous books, The Tell-Tale Brain is written in a conversational style for a general audience.

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PDF | On Jul 1, , Peter Brugger and others published The tell-tale brain: Unlocking the mystery of human nature. The human brain viewed from the top and from the left side. The top view The artist's whimsical depiction of a person draped on the brain surface shows the. THE TELL-TALE BRAIN anne nie physiologically apes. Anyone who has ever been struck by the uncanny near-humanness of the great apes at the zoo has felt .

This idea suggests a path forward for investigating the neural basis of our aesthetic preferences — currently, very much an unsolved problem — by relating aesthetics to the tuning properties of neurons in the visual pathway. Not surprisingly, some arguments in this book have a better foundation than others a section on autism is likely to be particularly controversial , but in the end, the most important contribution of this creative book lies not just in the particular ideas that Ramachandran offers, but in the ideas that he provokes his readers to come up with.

Looking at things in a new way may lead us to unpaint a few corners, and, perhaps eventually, to clear brush in some new domains of neuroscience.

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National Center for Biotechnology Information , U. Journal List J Clin Invest v.

J Clin Invest. Published online Aug 1.

The Tell-Tale Brain Summary & Study Guide

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The tell-tale brain

This book expands the realm of ideas and topics that seem tractable to scientific exploration. That this may be accompanied by some overreaching comes with the territory; indeed, in a work of this kind, failing to overreach would be the greater error.

The accelerating pace of advancement over the last few thousand years, Ramachandran argues, requires some explanation. During this period, we have perfected cultural transmission of information, so that individuals can benefit from the hard-earned knowledge of others.

What is it about our brains that allowed this to happen? Ramachandran points to two attributes of the brain as notable contributors.

The limb region of the somatosensory cortex also gets a whisper of input from the face, a pathway only revealed when the limb is missing. Synesthetes experience perceptual cross-talk between real stimuli and illusory, seemingly unrelated sensations.

Doubt has been cast on the idea that imitation and the understanding of actions depend on mirror neurons, and on the theory that autism involves a defect in these systems of cells.

It has even been claimed that the techniques used to detect the activity of mirror neurons have been widely misinterpreted. Ramachandran may have good reason to discount these skeptical studies, but he surely should have mentioned them. Nicholas Shakespeare , the well-known British writer, felt that Ramachandran did not fully engage the ideas presented in the book: "Ramachandran wanders along intriguing neural pathways, pausing to investigate strange disorders, but he leaves the impression that he is an explorer who has yet to leave the coast.

Further, he appears not fully to appreciate that the interior of this vast continent he is mapping may be at war. What little has been done depends on laughably simplistic models of how metaphors and creativity really work.

Likewise, his explanation of how we became speaking animals has scarcely a toe-hold on empirical data.Ramachandran is a leader in the field of neuroscience, a giant among his peers and worthy of a lot of the praise he receives for the therapies and intuitions he's developed over the years diagnosing and treating neurological conditions using a Sherlock Holmesian approach.

For the most part, the informational content of the book is sound. The human brain might have a kind of anatomical flexibility that could lead, on an evolutionary and perhaps on an individual time scale, to repurposing brain areas to perform new tasks.

Perhaps I'm especially cognizant of this self-congratulation because of the volume of scientific memoirs and pop-sci books I consume. That number you drew looks distinctly red to me.

E-mail: ude.

I also liked that he made it a point to highlight areas for future research and to make clear to the reader when he was straying into the realms of speculation.

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Browse my other articles. I have always been a very creative person and find it relaxing to indulge in amateur pankration. I am fond of cheerfully .