Phantoms in the Brain

Title: Phantoms in the Brain
Writers : V S Ramachandran
Published: 1998
Genre: Non-Fiction
My Rating: 4 on 5

This books attempts to explain how the human brain works. I say attempt because the author himself admits we do not yet completely know how the brain functions. This book covers topics like pseudo-pregnancy, phantom limbs, hemi-neglect and so on.

Pseudo-pregnancy is a state where a woman believes she is pregnant and shows all physical signs including a protruding belly, but who is not really pregnant. The woman even gives birth and loses her fat belly, but there is no baby. The author tries to explain why the body and brain fail to see the truth about the baby’s absence. And how the belly grows fat even though there is no baby.

When a patient loses a limb to amputation, he might continue to feel its existence and might even feel pain in the absent limb. The author refers to this as the phantom limb and tries to cure such patients with innovative methods. He even performs amputation over a phantom limb, which he himself finds amusing.

There are many such scenarios/conditions listed in the book and each one of them is as interesting and thought provoking. Through these “stories” and the author’s explanation, we get a glimpse of how our brain might be functioning. One bitter truth that is revealed to us is that we hardly know how it functions!

Dr. Ramachandran keeps his language simple and layman-friendly. There are medical jargons, but he gives enough explanation for us non-medical readers to understand and appreciate. I wish I had paid more attention in my biology classes. Some chapters are hard to understand and you need to read this in chunks.

This is not your typical bedtime reading. It is heavy reading and requires your brain to be functional when you read. A must read for those who find the medical world and human brain even slightly intriguing.


4 Responses to “Phantoms in the Brain”

  1. Says:

    This is very interesting, You are a very skilled blogger.
    I have joined your feed and look forward to seeking more of
    your fantastic post. Also, I’ve shared your web site in my social networks!

  2. lt-spessart.De Says:

    Admiring the persistence you put into your site and in
    depth information you offer. It’s great to come across a blog every once in a while that isn’t the
    same out of date rehashed material. Wonderful read!
    I’ve saved your site and I’m including your RSS feeds to my Google account.

  3. Serenigy Says:

    Awesome blog! Do you have any tips and hints for aspiring writers?
    I’m hoping to start my own website soon but I’m a little lost on everything.
    Would you propose starting with a free platform like WordPress
    or go for a paid option? There are so many options
    out there that I’m totally overwhelmed .. Any suggestions?

    Many thanks!

  4. metabolifescam Says:

    Write more, thats all I have to say. Literally, it seems as though you relied on
    the video to make your point. You obviously know what youre talking about, why waste your intelligence on
    just posting videos to your blog when you could be giving us something informative to

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: