Brains, Bodies and Phantom Limbs

This is a really great segment of a Radio Lab episode exploring the relationship between the brain and the body in a very interesting and amusing way. They describe William James' amazing and counterintuitive theory of emotion as feeling being the perception of the body, and emotion as "a slave to physiology." The empirical evidence supporting this theory is really interesting, and perhaps the final empirical refutation of psychophysical dualism, or so I'd like to think...

For those of you who have ever gotten in arguments with your significant other, here is also a fascinating and hilarious explanation of why there is such an asymmetry in how confrontational situations get resolved. This is based on the research published in Robert Sapolsky's book Monkeyluv.

Finally, the episode moves to the phenomenon of phantom limbs, first described, as far as I know, by Rene Descartes. This last part of the episode shows how the famous neuroscientist V. S. Ramachandran cured the chronic phantom pain on the phantom limb of some guy through the use of mirrors... absolutely awesome and fascinating story...

By the way, the next time my girlfriend and I have an argument, I'm totally going to use this line: "honey, don't forget what the half-life is on the autonomic nervous system."

Any bets on whether I get laid, slapped, dumped, laughed at?

Source: Radio Lab
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