Vilayanur Ramachandran is Director of the Centre for Brain and Cognition and Professor with the Psychology Department and the Neurosciences Program at the University of California. Last year he gave the BBC’s Reith lectures on neuroscience in which he gave a flavour of his research and wide-ranging interests.
The lectures start with examples of neurological anomalies – phantom limbs, synesthesia and pain asymbolia – investigating what these tell us about the workings of the brain. Later in the series Ramachandran moves on to Art and Philosophy, working up from the coal-face of neuroscience to those questions with which we have had little scientific purchase in the past.
This man knows how to lecture. Just listening to the recordings is an electrifying experience, it must have been fabulous to be there. So do yourself a favour no matter what your level of knowledge in this area and have a listen. The complete series is available on the BBC website.
Published: 27 January 2004