Christopher Campbell's Reviews > Phantoms in the Brain: Probing the Mysteries of the Human Mind

Phantoms in the Brain by V.S. Ramachandran
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's review
May 05, 2009

really liked it
Read in May, 2009

One may not initially find a book on modern psychology particularly interesting, but in the same vein as Charles Darwin's Origin of Species and Benjamin Kidd's Social Evolution, V.S. Ramachandran brings the reader on an interesting, enlightening, and entertaining journey through the human mind by exploring abnormal psychological cases. I enjoyed the book for it's conversational quality (it reads as if V.S. Ramachandran is in the room with you, Indian accent and all, explaining the details of his work!) The book is intended for the lay population; a background in psychology certainly will help understanding, but is by no means necessary to enjoy the work. Ramachandran probes the "phantom limb" syndrome (where an amputee still feels an amputated limb), psychological neglect and denial, and even the question of self and self-representation, all the while dropping quotes from Sherlock Holmes, Through the Looking Glass, and a great deal of Shakespeare's catalog. The work is engaging, and also very informative.
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