Vilayanur S. Ramachandran


Vilayanur Subramanian “Rama” Ramachandran (born 1951)
is a neuroscientist best known for his work in the fields of behavioral neurology and psychophysics.
He is the Director of the Center for Brain and Cognition, and is currently a Professor in the Department of Psychology and the Neurosciences Graduate Program at the University of California, San Diego.

Ramachandran is best known for his experiments in behavioral neurology which, despite their apparent simplicity, have generated many new ideas about the workings of the brain. He has been called “The Marco Polo of neuroscience” by Richard Dawkins and “the modern Paul Broca” by Eric Kandel.

In 1997 Newsweek magazine named him a member of “The Century Club”, one of the “hundred most prominent people to watch” in the 21st century and in 2011 Time listed him as one of “the most influential people in the world” on the “Time 100” list

Emerging Mind !

Vilayanur Subramanian Ramachandran (in accordance with Indian family name traditions, his family name, Vilayanur, is placed first) was born in 1951 in Tamil Nadu, India.
His father, Vilayanur Subramanian, was a UN diplomat, and as a consequence, Ramachandran spent much of his youth moving among several different posts in India and other parts of Asia.
Ramachandran is the grandson of Sir Alladi Krishnaswamy Iyer, Advocate General of Madras and co-architect of the Constitution of India.
He is married to Diane Rogers-Ramachandran and they have two boys, Mani and Jaya.
Ramachandran has studied neurological syndromes to investigate neural mechanisms underlying human mental function. Ramachandran is best known for his work on syndromes such as phantom limbs, body integrity identity disorder, and Capgras delusion. His research has also contributed to the understanding of synesthesia.
An Observer into Fathoms

More recently his work has focused on the theoretical implications of mirror neurons and the cause of autism. In addition, Ramachandran is known for the invention of the mirror box. He has published over 180 papers in scientific journals. Twenty of these have appeared in Nature, and others have appeared in Science, Nature Neuroscience, Perception and Vision Research. Ramachandran is a member of the editorial board of Medical Hypotheses (Elsevier) and has published 15 articles there.

Ramachandran’s work in behavioral neurology has been widely reported by the media. He has appeared in numerous Channel 4 and PBS documentaries. He has also been featured by the BBC, the Science Channel, Newsweek, Radio Lab, and This American Life, TED Talks, and Charlie Rose. In the episode “The Tyrant” of the television show House, M.D., Dr. House cures phantom limb pain using a mirror box.

He is author of Phantoms in the Brain which formed the basis for a two part series on BBC Channel 4 TV (UK) and a 1-hour PBS special in the USA. He is the editor of the Encyclopedia of the Human Brain (2002), and is co-author of the bi-monthly “Illusions” column in Scientific American Mind.

Mind - A whirlpool !

His Main Research Domains :
1. Human vision
human visual perception using psychophysical methods to draw clear inferences about the brain mechanisms underlying visual processing.
2. Phantom limbs
He theorized that the body image maps in the somatosensory cortex are re-mapped after the amputation of a limb.
3.Mirror visual feedback
4. Capgras delusion
5. Synesthesia
6.Mirror neurons
7. Body integrity identity disorder
Books by Ramachandran
* Phantoms in the Brain : Probing the Mysteries of the Human Mind, coauthor Sandra Blakeslee, 1998, ISBN 0-688-17217-2
* The Encyclopedia of the Human Brain (editor-in-chief) ISBN 0-12-227210-2
* The Emerging Mind, 2003, ISBN 1-86197-303-9
* A Brief Tour of Human Consciousness: From Impostor Poodles to Purple Numbers, 2005, ISBN 0-13-187278-8 (paperback edition)
* The Tell-Tale Brain: A Neuroscientist’s Quest for What Makes Us Human, 2010, ISBN 978-0-393-07782-7
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