Unlocking the brain's secrets
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There are many approaches to the
study of the human brain. One is brain imaging, to find out what part of the
brain is active when we perform a task. But, there is another method, the
structural-functional correlative approach, according to neurologist
Ramachandran, writes M R Venkatesh
A “three-pound jelly sitting in you” – the human brain with 100 billion cells –
does incredible multi-tasking, from creating music, poetry, brewing evil to
contemplating God and nature of religion.
And when world-renowned Indian-born neurologist Vilayanur S Ramachandran, hailed
by famed British evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins, as the ‘Marco Polo of
neuroscience’, begins exploring the stuff of human consciousness, he can get
delightfully passionate and messianic.
“Today, I am in a todi (raga) mood,” Ramachandran exults. He was speaking at the
launch of his latest book, ‘The Tell-Tale Brain’. It was certainly a delineation
of a profound melody as he stopped short of unmasking the ‘Self’ or atman. It
seems everything else modern neuroscience knows, and yet some of the deepest
mysteries of the human brain remain far from unlocked.
As Dr Ramachandran, Director of the Centre for Brain and Cognition and Professor
with the Psychology and Neurosciences Department at the University of
California, USA, brilliantly held forth on the mysteries of the human brain,
nothing could have been more apt than he being in a ‘todi’ mood, what with
flashes of insights and a dash of humour.
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