Yes, his Phantoms in the Brain is an interesting read. Very breezy style too. Actually, I'm typing from his lab right now. I work here. He's currently interested in synesthesia and the relationship between thought and language.
"J. R. Molloy" <email@example.com> wrote:
>From: "Anders Sandberg" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
>> I know, I have listened to Ramachandran's lectures and they are very fun
>> (last time he got into a debate with last year's nobel laureate Eric
>> Kandel about art theory). I have not yet read his books, but if they are
>> half as fun as his lectures they are really worth checking out.
>Dunno about his books either, but his Nova show was more than fun. His theory
>about neural wiring and pathways is verified by experiment. The implication is
>that our brains are not "hard-wired" from birth, but rather grow connections
>that map reality (and our bodies) onto the cerebral cortex. So, the brain is
>not a computer registering sensory input, but rather an emulation-in-progress
>as the sensory inputs actually define and direct the architecture of the
>Especially interesting is his idea of awareness as a concentration of
>deliberate attention rather than an epiphenomenon of cognitive interaction
>with the environment. The best part of all was when he described the neural
>pathways between vision and emotional salience, in the segment about David,
>the man with a condition called Capgras Delusion. He knew who and where he
>was, but he was sure that the people who said they were his parents were
>imposters. Dr. Ramachandran says David's injury destroyed pathways for
>emotional information, and since he didn't feel the appropriate emotions
>toward his parents, he concluded that they were lying look-alikes. (Reminder
>to uploaders: Don't forget to include the enteric nervous system.)
>Another file concerned John, who has temporal lobe epilepsy, and his seizures
>leave him with the absolute conviction that he is God. The doctor suggests
>that the seizures may have disrupted a part of the brain "whose activity is
>somehow conducive to religious belief," and that such a receptive region may
>have evolved because "it's conducive to stability of society."
>The doctor failed, however, to mention that it may also be conducive to the
>emergence of suicide bombers, but then, the show was created way before Sept.
>Conclusion: The cognitive significance of sensations makes experience the most
>valuable part of human knowledge.
>To buy the video:
>MIRROR NEURONS and imitation learning as the driving force behind "the great
>leap forward" in human evolution
>--- --- --- --- ---
>Useless hypotheses, etc.:
> consciousness, phlogiston, philosophy, vitalism, mind, free will, qualia,
>analog computing, cultural relativism, GAC, Cyc, Eliza, cryonics, individual
>uniqueness, ego, human values, scientific relinquishment
>We move into a better future in proportion as science displaces superstition.
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