Dr. V.S. Ramachandran's innovative studies plumb many of the uncharted depths in our understanding of how our bodies and our brains relate to each other, often revealing unexpectedly complex processes for recognizing our physical selves.
I highly recommend that you listen to the story rather than read the column here. Listening to it in the voice of the researching doctor - a man who so obviously feels both the zeal of discovery and the frustration and pain of the suffering patient - is well worth your investment in time.
In one breakthrough example, Ramachandran, a researcher at the University of California, San Diego, devised a seemingly simple experiment to explore a puzzle that has confounded doctors since at least the 16th century: the sensation that a ghostly limb remains after the amputation of a body part.
(And I can't help but wonder ... what else could I do with a mirror and a cardboard box?)