Archive for V.S. Ramachandran

Podcast 118 – “What Neurology Can Tell Us About Human Nature, Synesthesia and Art”

Guest speaker: Dr. V.S. Ramachandran


[NOTE: All quotes are by V.S. Ramachandran.]

“Let’s think about what the standard explanations were [before the late 1990s] for synesthesia. The most common explanation, which we used to hear until about five or ten years ago was, ‘Oh they’re just crazy, they’re nuts,’ because it doesn’t make any sense. And this is a common reaction in science. If it doesn’t make any sense you brush it under the carpet.”

“It turns out that synesthesia is more common among acid users, but that to me makes it more interesting, not less interesting.”

“You cannot solve one mystery in science by using another mystery.”

“Synesthesia my even hold the key for understanding the emergence of language and abstract thought.”

“It turns out that it [synesthesia] is much more common among artists, poets, and novelists.”

“One of the things you know as a physician is that when you think something is crazy it usually means you’re not smart enough to figure it out.”

“Art is not about copying. It’s about distortion and exaggeration, but you cannot randomly distort an image and call it art.”

“There is only one pattern of neural activity that can exist at one time, and it will destroy any other competing patterns of neural activity. This means there is a bottleneck of attention. You can only pay attention to one thing at a time.”


PCs – Right click, select option
Macs – Ctrl-Click, select option

Comments (1)

Podcast 023 – Mind States IV (2003) Sound Bites

Guest speakers: Susan Blackmore, V.S. Ramachandran, Richard Glen Boire, John Gilmore, Ralph Metzner, and Jaron Lanier


Here are a few samples from the 2003 Mind States conference that was held in Berkeley, California in May of that year. Sound bites from the following talks are included here:

Susan Blackmore:“The Grand Illusion of Consciousness”
V.S. Ramachandran: “What Neurology Can Tell Us About Human Nature”
Richard Glen Boire: “Neurocops: Welcome to the REAL Drug War”
John Gilmore: “Our Constitutional Rights of Anonymous Travel”
Ralph Metzner: “Seven Phases of Social-Cultural Transformation Catalyzed by LSD”
Jaron Lanier: “Post-Symbolic Communication”


PCs – Right click, select option
Macs – Ctrl-Click, select option


Mind States Conference Central

Comments off