The Artful Brain
This year's Reith Lecturer is Vilayanur S Ramachandran, Director of the Centre for Brain and Cognition. He has lectured widely on art and visual perception of the brain and is Editor-in-chief of the Encyclopaedia of Human Behaviour. Professor Ramachandran's work has concentrated on investigating phenomena such as phantom limbs, anosognosia and anorexia nervosa.
In his third lecture, which is the most speculative one in the series of five, Professor Ramachandran takes up one of the most ancient questions in philosophy, psychology and anthropology, namely, what is art? To do this he draws on neurological case studies and works from ethology (animal behaviour) to present a new framework for understanding how the brain creates and responds to art, and uses examples from Indian art and Cubism to illustrate these ideas.