Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Book Review: The Tell-Tale Brain by V.S. Ramachandran

On the jacket:


The brain remains a mystery to us. How can a three-pound mass of jelly that can fit in our palm imagine angels, contemplate the meaning of infinity, and even question its own place in the cosmos? Renowned neuroscientist Prof. V.S. Ramachandran takes us on a fascinating journey into the human brain by studying patients who exhibit bizarre symptoms and using them to understand the functions of a normal brain. Along the way he asks big questions: How did abstract thinking evolve? What is art? Why do we laugh? How are these hardwired into the neural mechanisms of the human brain, and why did they evolve? Brilliant, lucid, and utterly compelling, The Tell-Tale Brain is a pathbreaking book from one of the leading neuroscientists.

Review:

It took me about a fortnight to read this book and almost equal amount of time to write this review. Because. It's brilliant and also a subject I am not completely at home with. I couldn't review a book which is so extensive and well-written and not rate it appropriately.

I was ready to dislike this book, but I couldn't help but love it. The author has gone to the depth and explained the difference between humans and animals. He puts light on evolution as per biology. The book talks about Autism, Aesthetics, Synthesia, Phantom Limb Syndrome of amputees, consciousness, the idea of a self, free will, etc. 

I had to refer to the internet many times to understand a lot of terms Ramachandran spoke about. However, cannot ignore the fact how he has simplified the extremely scientific terms. This was clear to me only after I referred to the internet and encountered more complicated explanations.

For a book which talks about the evolution of the brain, the read through is more like reading a novel. The Tell-Tale Brain is not every one's cup of tea. For someone who hasn't even studied science since the Xth standard, like me, it requires a lot of patience and research. But! What a read! Totally worth it!

Rating: ****/5

[This review is for Random House India. The opinions are strictly my own and not been written under any obligation.]

1 comment:

  1. The Tell-Tale Brain book by V. S. Ramachandran containing so many new research on brain and comes with new ideas. He make a vast explanation about how can a three-pound mass of jelly that can fit in our palm imagine angels, contemplate the meaning of infinity, and even question its own place in the cosmos? traumatic brain injury

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