Ramachandran: The Emerging Mind — Lecture 3: “The Artful Brain”

The Reith Lec­tures, Vilay­a­nur S. Ramachandran: The Emer­ging Mind: 2003 Epis­ode 3 of 5: “The Art­ful Brain”. (From 8′30″, Ramachandran men­tions the Tin­ber­gen exper­i­ment. The rest of the talks from this series can be found here: www.youtube.com/playlist?list…)


In his third lec­ture, which is the most spec­u­lat­ive one in the series of five, Pro­fess­or Ramachandran takes up one of the most ancient ques­tions in philo­sophy, psy­cho­logy and anthro­po­logy, namely, what is art? To do this he draws on neur­o­lo­gic­al case stud­ies and works from eth­o­logy (anim­al beha­viour) to present a new frame­work for under­stand­ing how the brain cre­ates and responds to art, and uses examples from Indi­an art and Cubism to illus­trate these ideas. [Illus­tra­tions here: www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/reith2003…]


This year’s Reith Lec­turer is Vilay­a­nur S Ramachandran, Dir­ect­or of the Centre for Brain and Cog­ni­tion. He has lec­tured widely on art and visu­al per­cep­tion of the brain and is Edit­or-in-chief of the Encyc­lo­pae­dia of Human Beha­viour. Pro­fess­or Ramachandran’s work has con­cen­trated on invest­ig­at­ing phe­nom­ena such as phantom limbs, anosognosia and anor­ex­ia nervosa.