Synapses and the Self
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 second Reith Lecture Professor Ramachandran examines the process we call 'seeing'; how we become consciously aware of things around us. How does the activity of the 100 billion little wisps of protoplasm - the neurons in the brain - give rise to all the richness of our conscious experience, including the 'redness' of red, the painfulness of pain or the exquisite flavour of Marmite or Vindaloo?