Retrospectacle: A Neuroscience Blog

Dr. Vilayanur Ramachandran, the director of the Center for Brain and Cognition at the University of California, San Diego, recently gave this excellent speech at the TED (Technology, Entertainment, and Design) Conference. In addition to being an engaging speaker, he may also be one of the only scientists I’ve even seen pull off a leather jacket so well. The talk covers phantom limb pain, synesthesia (when people hear color or smell sounds), and the Capgras delusion, which is when brain-damaged people believe their closest friends and family have been replaced with imposters. This rare disorder has an odd interpretation thats Freudian in nature, and…well…you’ll just have to watch the video to find out what it is. Enjoy.

The embedded link may be truncated, if so, the full video is here.


  1. #1 Cuttlefish
    October 29, 2007

    There appears to be a problem with the link (or with my computer)–I got the phantom limb stuff, but then two presentations of the synesthesea–one out of synch with his movements, one in synch. Clicking around, I heard one mention of Capgras, but it disappeared when the player reached that point in normal play.

  2. #2 Shelley Batts
    October 29, 2007

    Hmmm, yeah I just noticed that. In the video on the site, it begins with Capgas, so it may be truncated. I included a link to the entire talk at the bottom.

  3. #3 On
    November 11, 2007

    Glad you liked Rama’s TED talk… you may find his Edge essay quite compelling, too. These 2,000 words read like a blueprint for Nobel.

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