Vilayanur Ramachandran

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Vilayanur Ramachandran is a mesmerizing speaker, able to concretely and simply describe the most complicated inner workings of the brain. His investigations into phantom limb pain, synesthesia and other brain disorders allow him to explore (and begin to answer) the most basic philosophical questions about the nature of self and human consciousness.

Ramachandran is the director of the Center for Brain and Cognition at the University of California, San Diego, and an adjunct professor at the Salk Institute. He is the author of Phantoms in the Brain, A Brief Tour of Human Consciousness and The Man with the Phantom Twin: Adventures in the Neuroscience of the Human Brain.

TEDIndia 2009: The neurons that shaped civilization

Neuroscientist Vilayanur Ramachandran outlines the fascinating functions of mirror neurons. Identified by Di Pellegrino, Gallese, Rizzolatti and colleagues in the 1990s, Ramachandran discusses how these neurons may allow us to learn complex social behaviors, some of which formed the foundations of human civilization as we know it.

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