V.S. Ramachandran Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience

University of California, San Diego; Director of the Center for Brain and Cognition


V. S. Ramachandran is a giant in the field of neuroscience who has changed the way that we think about the brain several times in his career. His many contributions include groundbreaking work in human vision, mirror visual feedback, synesthesia, language and metaphors, autism, and rare neurological disorders. He is well known for his simple and ingenious therapy for the pain that sufferers of phantom limb syndrome feel, which uses only a mirror box. Ramachandran is also a major voice in advocating for the importance of mirror neurons in human beings. A mirror neuron is a neuron that fires when a person takes an action, or when the person observes the same action in another person, thus “mirroring” the other. Ramachandran asserts that mirror neurons were “the driving force behind the great leap forward in human evolution” because of the role he feels they played in developing empathy and even human self-awareness. In 2012, Ramachandran spoke at the Being Human conference in San Francisco.

Phantoms in the Brain: Probing the Mysteries of the Human Mind (with Sandra Blakeslee)
The Encyclopedia of the Human Brain (editor-in-chief)
The Emerging Mind
A Brief Tour of Human Consciousness: From Impostor Poodles to Purple Numbers
The Tell-Tale Brain: A Neuroscientist's Quest for What Makes Us Human


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