my lessons · non-fiction · review

Phantoms in the Brain: Probing the Mysteries of the Human Mind

Was I interested in neuroscience? Did I love brain modeling? Did I make an attempt to drift my understanding in clinical psychology? Did I really know that there is a link between someone losing their limbs and the brain functioning? The answer to all the above questions is an obvious “No”. Until, there came a stage in life of my mom when her right leg was amputated due to medical reasons and I amended my answer to “Yes”. I started being very inquisitive whenever my mom says that her amputated leg creates troubles ,she feels the leg movement and feels like scratching that ghost even after 12 long years of getting the leg removed. I used to think that she had gone crazy and she misses the leg to the core. But after reading this book, I got to know that, the brain assumes the presence of this leg and tries to communicates with the stitched nerves of the existing stump.

The author makes a novice understand the anatomy of the brain, its functioning and the brain linkages to different bodily functions to an extent. He has provided case studies and several real life examples to explain these concepts. Dr. V.S. Ramachandran, had explained clearly about the phantoms in the brain not limiting to the lost limbs alone, but also, unconceived child and unrecognizable parents. This book is an excellent source for all neuroscience enthusiasts, people with special interests like me that wanted to understand about the phantom limb, nonfiction readers. I wholeheartedly agree that, this subject is extremely difficult to comprehend other than someone that has experienced it personally or kith and kin.Without reading this book, I wouldn’t have understood what trauma my mom was going through and in turn explained this to her so that she too got convinced about the root cause of the phantom limb. I had rated this book 4/5 merely because of the personal reasons.


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