The Tell-Tale Brain: A Neuroscientist’s Quest for What Makes Us Human by V. S. Ramachandran
RC 351 .A45 2011
“Why are some of us more creative than others? What causes autism, and how might it be detected and treated? Why do we find certain things beautiful? How did language evolve? And how does the brain create that elusive thing: a sense of self? These are just a few of the fascinating neurological mysteries that V. S. Ramachandran tackles in his landmark new work.
Ramachandran is famous for his intuitive, Sherlock Holmes-style approach to baffling neurological mysteries – from patients who desire to have a healthy arm or leg amputated to sufferers of Capgras syndrome who believe their loved ones to be imposters. Not only does Ramachandran explain these bizarre behaviors in terms of the innermost workings of the brain, giving us a tour along the way of recent advances in neuroscience; he also reveals what these unusual cases can teach us about the normal human brain and its unique evolution.
Among the most fascinating topics covered in this far-reaching book are mirror neurons: brain cells that fire both when we perform a specific action and when we watch someone else perform that same action. As Ramachandran reveals, these remarkable neurons may help explain phenomena ranging from the development of language and the transmission of culture to empathy, autism, and even the uniqueness of the human species.
Ramachandran tackles the most exciting and controversial topics in brain science with a storyteller’s eye for compelling case studies and a researcher’s flair for new approaches to age-old questions. Tracing the strange links between neurology and behavior, The Tell-Tale Brain will reward readers with a wealth of new clues into the mysteries – and the remarkable abilities – of the human brain.” – publisher description