Phantoms in the Brain: Probing the Mysteries of the Human Mind

| May 6, 2012 | 0 Comments

“Phantoms in the Brain” is a popular science book by V.S. Ramachandran and Sandra Blakeslee about the human mind and its mysteries. I don’t know about you but for me neuroscience is a very interesting topic. Just recently I’ve read about a rather curious fact that bilingual people unconsciously change personalities as they speak different languages. Similar and even more interesting curiosities are discussed in the “Phantoms of the Brain”. Let’s take a look.


Basic Info

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Perennial; First Quill Edition edition (Sep 1999)
  • Language English
  • ISBN-10: 0688172172
  • ISBN-13: 978-0688172176
  • Average Amazon Customer Review:4.0 out of 5 stars  (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 165,804 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)


About the Authors

V.S. Ramachandran (born 1951) is a neuroscientist known for his work in the fields of behavioral neurology and visual psychophysics. He is the Director of the Center for Brain and Cognition, and is currently a Professor in the Department of Psychology and the Neurosciences Graduate Program at the University of California, San Diego.

Sandra Blakeslee is a science writer based in Santa Fe, New Mexico.  She has spent nearly all of her career writing for the New York Times, both as a staff writer and on contract.


Short Review

In “Phantoms of the Brain” Ramachandran also known as simply “Rama” recounts  his work with patients who have bizarre neurological disorders which can shed new light on the deep architecture of the brain. The book attempts at finding out what these findings tell us about who we are, how we construct our body image, why we laugh or become depressed or even why we may believe in God. A variety of bizarre cases are described in great detail in the book. Some of the most notable cases include a woman paralyzed on the left side of her body who believes she is lifting a tray of drinks with both hands, a man who believes that he speaks with God and even a woman who sees cartoon characters.

V.S. Ramachandran is a  highly respectable scientists, who is known for uncovering answers to the deep and quirky questions of human nature. And he, with the help of experienced writer Sandra Balkeslee, does a great work at explaining complicated problems of neuroscience to everyday readers. Thus I would like to recommend this book for anyone and especially those readers with an interest in the subject.


  1. More books by V.S. Ramachandran
  2. More books by Sandra Blakeslee
  3. “Phantoms in the Brain” on Amazon:




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Category: General Science Books

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