Ramachandran - Neurology and Art

Why does art produce the visceral sensations it does on our psyche? The tradition of aesthetic theories is long and fascinating, and most have tended to concentrate on the properties of the work of art itself. But what if you try to understand art from the point of view of the brain of the observer?

In the absolutely fascinating lecture below (and ignore the poor video quality), neurologist V.S. Ramachandran, the man who can use mirrors to amputate phantom limbs, deploys his unique understanding of neurological conditions like prosopagnosia, the capgras disorder and synaesthesia, in order to produce a universal theory of art that will simply blow your mind.

One key to understand art, Rama argues, is to understand metaphor, but to understand metaphor (sorry English majors), you have to understand how the brain processes perception, and a useful way to do this is to understand synaesthesia: the blending of the senses. Luckily, this won't be much of a problem because most of us are already partial synaesthetes :)

You're in love with Rama now, aren't you? :)
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