Dr. V.S. Ramachandran is a neurologist and professor at the University of California, San Diego, who studies the neural mechanisms underlying human behaviors. He has written several books about unlocking the mysteries of the human brain.

In his latest, The Tell-Tale Brain, Ramachandran describes several neurological case studies that illustrate how people see, speak, conceive beauty and perceive themselves and their bodies in 3-D space.

Take, for example, the clinical phenomenon known as the “phantom limb.” In the majority of cases where people have lost limbs, they continue to vividly feel the presence of the missing limb. Chronic phantom pain — which strikes roughly two-thirds of patients who have had a limb removed — can become so severe that patients seriously contemplate suicide.

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