Vilayanur Ramachandran’s 50 Best Quotes

Vilayanur Ramachandran is a Hindu neurologist born in 1951, Commonly known for his work in the fields of behavioral neurology and psychophysics.

He is currently one of the most influential neurologists in the world and holds leadership positions in universities and institutes around the world. Some of his most notable works are: “Ghosts in the Brain”, “The Emerging Mind” or “The Man with the Ghost Twin: Adventures in the Neuroscience of the Human Brain”, the latter of which is widely read today.

    Table of Contents

    Famous quotes and sentences by Vilayanur Ramachandran

    A man with a simply impressive professional background, winner of several international awards. Ramachandran is a benchmark in the field of neurology and biology that we all should certainly know.

    Do you want to know a little more about him and his work? Below you can enjoy Vilayanur Ramachandran’s 50 Best Quotes, One of the most remarkable scientists of the present 21st century.

    1. In fact, the line between perception and hallucinations is not as sharp as we like to think. In a way, when you look at the world, you hallucinate all the time. Perception could almost be thought of as the act of choosing the hallucination that best matches the input data.

    The line between reality and hallucinations can sometimes be difficult to see.

    2. Our ability to perceive the world around us seems so easy that we tend to take it for granted.

    Often times we are not fully aware of the dangers we are in, we should all be a little more careful.

    3. We think about what artists, novelists and poets have in common: the ability to employ metaphorical thinking, which unites seemingly unrelated ideas.

    In order to create art we have to have a big imagination, metaphorical thinking would be a way of seeing this inner world.

    4. How are we different from the great apes? We have the culture, we have the civilization, we have the language and everything comes from human beings.

    Reason is what separates us from other hominids, without it we would be just another great ape species.

    5. What neurology tells us is that the “I” is made up of many components, and the notion of a unitary “I” may well be an illusion.

    Through behavioral neurology, we can come to explain some things that long ago had no apparent explanation.

    6. People often ask me how I got interested in the brain; my answer is: how can someone NOT be interested in him? Everything we call human nature and consciousness flows from it.

    The brain is the most complex organ possessed by human beings, and we still don’t know much about its functions today.

    7. The line between neurology and psychiatry is increasingly blurred and it is only a matter of time before psychiatry becomes one more branch of neurology.

    Neurology as a science is starting to absorb other types of studies, such as psychiatry. It is certainly a really interesting science.

    8. Art can be viewed as a form of visual pre-climax play.

    Art can lead us to experience a lot of emotions and thoughts. Artists of all ages have always given us great experiences.

    9. A genius is someone who seems to come out of nowhere.

    Where does a genius come from? This is something that no one knows. Geniuses appear out of nowhere and amaze us with their abilities.

    10. With the arrival of humans, it has been said, the universe suddenly became aware of itself. This, really, is the greatest mystery of all.

    Human beings show self-awareness, something that not all species in the animal world have been able to prove.

    11. Remember that politics, colonialism, imperialism and war also originate in the human brain.

    The worst aspects of being human are also given by our brain. It seems that the more intelligence a being has, the more he will also possess greater evil.

    12. There is no such thing as a true independent “I”, remote from other human beings, inspecting the world and inspecting others. In fact, you are not only connected through Facebook and the Internet, but you are in fact literally connected through your neurons.

    How we develop in society and with those around us largely determines our way of being.

    13. Great art enables you to transcend your mortal frame and reach for the stars. I think big science does the same.

    A great quote from Ramachandran, where he sets out his particular point of view, whereby art and science are indeed very similar.

    14. It is as if each of us hallucinates all the time and what we call perception simply involves selecting the hallucination that best matches the input of our current.

    As humans we are limited to our own perception, many aspects around us are simply ignored by our perception.

    15. We are not angels, we are just sophisticated monkeys. However, we feel like angels trapped in the bodies of beasts, yearning for transcendence and trying all the time to spread our wings and fly, and it really is a very strange situation to be in, if you think about it. .

    We should not believe ourselves superior to the rest of the animal world, for we are only a species which has achieved a greater development of its intelligence.

    16. Science is like a love affair with nature, an elusive and seductive lover. It has all the turmoil, twists and turns of romantic love, but that’s part of the game.

    Science tries to understand absolutely everything about the nature around us. Science is one of the best weapons human beings have for their development.

    17. Your conscious life is an elaborate rationalization after things that you actually do for other reasons.

    Our brain orders our life in a certain way so that it is simple and possible for us to understand it, it is still a theatricalization of reality.

    18. A culture without mythology is not really a civilization.

    Mythology has always tried to explain these things which at the time had no explanation.

    19. Any monkey can reach for a banana, but only humans can reach for the stars.

    We humans have proven to be the smartest and most wonderful being on planet Earth.

    20. If you are a thoughtful person the liver is interesting, but there is nothing more fascinating than the brain.

    The brain is indeed a fascinating organ, a miniature universe in our head.

    21. However, as human beings, we must humbly accept that the question of the ultimate origin will always remain with us, no matter how well we think we understand the brain and the cosmos.

    We must know how to accept that we will never have absolute knowledge of the universe, this is something that as human beings is biologically impossible.

    22. The human brain, it has been said, is the most complex structure in the universe and to appreciate this sun, you have to look at some numbers. The brain is made up of one hundred billion nerve cells or neurons, which are the basic structural and functional units of the nervous system. Each neuron makes some sort of one to ten thousand contacts with other neurons, and these points of contact are called synapses, which is where the exchange of information takes place. And based on this information, someone calculated that the number of permutations and possible combinations of brain activity, that is, the number of brain states, is greater than the number of elementary particles in the known universe.

    The human being is an exceptional biological machine, of such complexity that it escapes our own knowledge.

    23. Curiosity lights the right path to anything in life. If you don’t be curious, that’s when your brain starts to die.

    Curiosity is the cause of the technological evolution of human beings, with it we have learned to master fire and we will be able to travel to Mars in the future.

    24. Here with this mass of jelly (only three pounds of mass of jelly) that you could hold in the palm of your hand, you can contemplate the vastness of interstellar space, you can contemplate the sense of infinity and he can contemplate himself while contemplating the meaning of the infinite.

    The brain, despite its small size, is able to open the doors of knowledge, it is certainly a work of art in biology.

    25. Self-knowledge is a trait that not only makes us human but, paradoxically, makes us want to be more than human. As I said in my BBC Reith lectures, science tells us that we are just beasts, but that is not how we feel. We feel like angels trapped in animal bodies, anxious for transcendence.

    Human beings have always wanted to improve as an individual, which is absolutely necessary to achieve our place in the stars.

    26. The common denominator of all the jokes is a path of hope diverted by an unexpected turn that requires a complete reinterpretation of all of the above facts – the punch … Reinterpretation alone is not enough. The new model must be indisputable. For example, a nice man walking towards the car falls on a banana peel and falls. If you break your head and bleed, you obviously aren’t going to laugh. You will call your phone and call an ambulance. But if he just wipes his face off his face, looks around, then gets up, laughs. The reason is that, I suggest, because he now knows that it is indisputable, no real damage has been done. I would say laughter is how nature points out that “this is a false alarm”. Why is this evolutionary perspective useful? This suggests that the rhythmic sound of laughter has evolved to inform our loved ones who share our genes; do not waste your precious resources in this situation; this is a false alarm.

    Human communication is totally different from that of other animals, this communication has allowed us to evolve as a species.

    27. He had the arrogance of the believer, but also the humility of the deeply religious.

    We must be clear about our personal values, with them we will be able to achieve our goal.

    28. Although your common knowledge today, never ceases to amaze you with all the richness of our mental life, all our feelings, our emotions, our thoughts, our ambitions, our love life, our religious feelings and even what each one from U.S. he considers us as his intimate “private self”, it is simply the activity of these little kinds of jelly in the head, the brain. There is nothing more.

    The brain shapes everything we are as a person, our brain is us.

    29. It is difficult to overcome the importance of understanding mirror neurons and their function. Perhaps they are fundamental for social learning, imitation and cultural transmission of skills and attitudes, maybe even the pressurized sound groups that we call words. By developing a system of mirror neurons, efficient evolution transformed culture into a new genome. Armed with culture, humans could adapt to new hostile environments and figure out how to harness previously inaccessible or toxic food sources within one or two generations, instead of the hundreds or thousands of generations that would have been required to effect these transformations through to genetic evolution.

    Ramachandran effectively delved into the theory of mirror neurons and how biology can greatly affect the development of our civilization.

    30. Thus, culture became a significant new source of evolutionary pressure, which helped select brains that had even better mirror neural systems and the imitative learning associated with them. The result was one of the many snowball self-amplifying effects that resulted in Homo Sapiens, the hominid who looked into his own mind and saw the entire cosmos reflected within.

    With the development of Homo Sapiens, human evolution has succeeded in reaching the human being that we are today.

    31. What do we mean by knowledge or understanding? And how are billions of neurons made? These are complete mysteries. Of course, cognitive neuroscientists are still very confused as to the exact meaning of words like “understand”, “think” and in fact the very word that means.

    As the human being develops his own intellect, this is something that still completely escapes us today.

    32. One of the first things we teach medical students is to listen to the patient through a careful medical history. Ninety percent of the time, you can make an accurate diagnosis less accurately with special care, using a physical exam and a sophisticated lab test to confirm your suspicion.

    Today’s technology allows us to draw big conclusions, quickly and easily.

    33. Science should be guided by questions and not by methodology.

    Science should always be the answer to a big question.

    34. The point of all this (the way of choosing denial or repression of the left hemisphere to be considered an anomaly) is to impose stability on behavior and to avoid hesitating that indecision serves the purpose. to nothing. Any decision, as long as it is probably right, is better than no decision. A perpetually emaciated general will never win a war.

    Our decisions will get us where we need to be, our actions represent us.

    35. The law of perceptual problem solving or Peekaboo should now make more sense. Maybe it has evolved to make sure that finding visual solutions is inherently pleasurable and not frustrating, so don’t give up too easily.

    Ramachandran’s work is widely studied today, delving into neuroscience, always seeking to answer big questions.

    36. I have found mysteries and possibilities everywhere.

    There will always be new areas to explore or big questions to answer.

    37. I found myself drawn to biology, with all of its frustrating but fascinating complexities.

    Biology is, without a doubt, one of the most fascinating sciences, being able to answer the questions it raises is obviously not an easy task.

    38. I learned an important lesson: We never take anything for granted.

    A great lesson we should all learn from this great scientist, nothing is entirely true until we make sure.

    39. All good science comes from an imaginative conception of what might be true.

    The sciences are the fruit of our imagination, without it we would never have been able to develop it in the slightest.

    40. Here is the greatest irony: that the “I” which is almost by definition completely private is, to a large extent, a social construct.

    The society we live in largely determines who we are today.

    41. How does language interact with thought? Does language allow us to think, or does thought allow us to speak?

    A really tricky question to answer, which came first, the egg or the chicken?

    42. No engineer would have dreamed of such an inelegant solution to illustrate the opportunistic nature of evolution. (As Francis Crick once said, “God is a hacker, not an engineer”).

    Biology is a really exciting science, perhaps many of us should study it further.

    43. Despite all its superficial diversity, most jokes and funny incidents have the following logical structure: You usually lead the listener down a garden path of hope, slowly increasing the tension. Finally, introduce an unexpected twist that involves a complete reinterpretation of all of the above data, and it is also essential that the new interpretation, although totally unexpected, has as much meaning for all the facts as the interpretation initially expected.

    Humans are the only animal believed to have a sense of humor, a hallmark that sets us apart from other animal species.

    44. In fact, one can say that humor is an effective antidote to a futile struggle against the ultimate danger: the fear of death felt by self-conscious beings like us.

    Humor helps us to fight the most difficult situations; it is certainly a great support in all of our lives.

    45. Once the mechanism of propagation was in place, he would have exerted selective pressure to make certain innovative settlers out of the population. Indeed, innovations would only have value if they spread quickly. In this way, you could say that mirror neurons played the same role in Hominina’s initial evolution as the internet, Wikipedia, and blogs do today. Once the waterfall was set in motion, it did not return to the path of humanity.

    Thanks to new technologies we can assimilate knowledge in a much more precise way, in ancient times biology may have occupied this prominent place in the development of the human species.

    46. ​​Homogeneity generates weaknesses: blind theoretical points, obsolete paradigms, eco-camera mentality and personality cults.

    Living all in the same society and according to the same rules can also be something that deprives us of being able to evolve as individuals.

    47. Thus, the search for biological laws should not be motivated by a search for simplicity or elegance. No woman who has given birth would say this is an elegant solution to giving birth to a baby.

    Biology is always looking for the best option, whether it is the most pleasant or the most unhappy for the species that lives it.

    48. Being trapped in narrow specializations and in clubs, which are only open to those who praise and fund them, is an occupational risk in modern science.

    We must not get carried away by third party flattery or empty promises, we must be the scientists that we really are.

    49. Ancestors, maybe as friends, maybe as enemies… we don’t know. It’s also unclear why they went extinct, although given our unpleasant history as responsible stewards of nature, it’s decent to say that we are driving them to extinction.

    The hominid species that came before us were undoubtedly the cause of our presence here, we must always be grateful for their great contribution. It may be that the reason for its extinction is also related to us.

    50. Two brain research topics always seem to attract geniuses and weirdos. One is consciousness and the other is the question of the evolution of language.

    Being able to explain consciousness and language is a complicated question that even today many scientists are unable to answer.

    Leave a Comment