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Phantoms In The Brain By V.S. Ramachadran

1290 words - 5 pages

V.S. Ramachandran’s Phantoms in the Brain is a well-written book for what he believes to be the causes for some neurological theories and mysteries. He covers many syndromes such as Phantom Limb syndrome, the Capgras Delusion, Cotard’s Syndrome, Hemi-neglect, Blind-sight, Motion blindness, Anosognosia, multi-personality disorder, and the Zombie with in each of us. When he talks about these syndromes he is arguing for the theory of not having a soul because it is not physically tangible and using the neurological theory of consciousness to prove said argument. Though there is a theory of the soul he consistently proves that there is no such thing as a soul that we can physically obtain in our world. So, the question is, do souls exist or are they a figment of imagination and a coping mechanism for humans? Souls do not exist because whether one believes in them or not, they cannot physically be dealt with in the real world as shown through patients with Phantom Limb Syndrome, Capgras Delusion, and Blind-sight syndrome.
Phantom Limb Syndrome is when a patient has lost a limb, such as a body part (organs), an arm or leg, but can still feel the presents of the limb and is “able” to continue functions with the arm because of the presents of the phantom. This syndrome can be caused by losing a limb in a tragic accident or by being born without a limb or limbs. When people are born without the limb or limbs and have this syndrome it can be described as wishful thinking or by having a soul. Wishful thinking is where the person wishes that they have the syndrome but they actually do not even if they are showing the signs of having the syndrome. This sort of thinking can be shown in the case of John McGrath who was an arm amputee that had contacted Ramachandran about his phantom over the phone to see if he could help him. He believed that he had a phantom arm can could do the same tasks as he could with his physical arm, such as picking up a coffee mug. Ramachandran tested John by asking him to pick up his coffee mug with his phantom limb. John did this but as he “gripped” the mug with his phantom hand Ramachandran pulled the mug away. What happened next astonished Ramachandran and made him become more intrigued in the patient and case of phantom limbs. John yelled in pain and said that he had hurt his hand by pulling the mug out of it. The only reason that makes sense that he would feel pain is that his bran is sending signals that his arm is experiencing pain and thus he yells because he believes that he is in pain. Therefore his wishful thinking that his arm is there and able to function is all within the mind and the fact that the brain is sending signals to the phantom because it has not adjusted to the fact that there is no arm present anymore.
The patients who believe that it is their soul are the patients that fall into the soul theory category. The soul theory is the idea that the soul is contained within the physical form of the body and is what...

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