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Science Matters

Vilayanur S. Ramachandran, M.D., Ph.D.

Director, Center for Brain and Cognition, University of California, San Diego

Professor, Department of Psychology, University of California, San Diego

Adjunct Professor, Salk Institute

M.D., Stanley Medical College

Ph.D., Trinity College at the University of Cambridge

Dr. Ramachandran is a physician and neuroscientist, whose research interests include human cognition and behavioral neurology. An internationally renowned scientist, Dr. Ramachandran’s awards include a fellowship from All Souls College, Oxford, a Gold medal from the Australian National University, and the presidential lecture award from the American Academy of Neurology. A noted speaker, he has given many prominent talks, including the Decade of the Brain lecture at the 25th annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience in 1995, the Inaugural keynote lecture at the Decade of the Brain conference held by the National Institute of Mental Health, and the BBC Reith lectures in 2003. Dr. Ramachandran has published over 120 papers in scientific journals, is Editor-in-chief of the Encyclopedia of Human Behavior, and author of the acclaimed book Phantoms in the Brain: Probing the Mysteries of the Human Mind. His work is often featured in mainstream media such as BBC, PBS, and Newsweek magazine (where he was named to “The Century Club,” one of the “hundred most prominent people to watch in the next century”). In 1997, Dr. Ramachandran found that patients who suffer seizures from temporal lobe epilepsy display an unusual obsession with religious matters, and that a certain region of the brain (nicknamed the “God module”), seemed to be responsible for processing religious thoughts and feelings.

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