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Reith 2003
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The Lectures

Lecture 1

Lecture 1: Phantoms in the Brain

Scientists need no longer be afraid to ask the big questions about what it means to be human with empirical evidence now answering ancient philosophical questions about meaning and existence.


Lecture 2


Lecture 2: Synapses and the Self

How does the activity of the 100 billion little wisps of protoplasm - the neurons in your 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?


Lecture 3


Lecture 3: The Artful Brain

Professor Ramachandran draws on neurological case studies and work from ethology (animal behavior) to present a new framework for understanding how the brain creates and responds to art. He will use examples mainly from Indian art and Cubism to illustrate these ideas.


Lecture 4


Lecture 4: Purple Numbers and Sharp Cheese

Professor Ramachandran demonstrates experimentally that the phenomenon of synesthaesia is a genuine sensory effect. For example, some subjects literally "see" red every time they see the number 5 or green when they see 2.


Lecture 5


Lecture 5: Neuroscience - the New Philosophy

Professor Ramachandran argues that neuroscience, perhaps more than any other discipline, is capable of transforming man's understanding of himself and his place in the cosmos.

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The Lectures

Lecture 1:
  • Phantoms in the Brain
    Lecture 2:
  • Synapses and the Self
    Lecture 3:
  • The Artful Brain
    Lecture 4:
  • Purple Numbers and Sharp Cheese
    Lecture 5:
  • Neuroscience - the New Philosophy

  • Glossary

    A collection of useful definitions, diagrams and dissections.

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