Tuesday, January 3, 2012


Spot of Culture: V. S. Ramachandran loves...

Scientists who are changing the way we understand the world tell CultureLab their favourite places to seek inspiration and reflect.
(Image: F1 Online/Rex Features)

The point of museums is both to evoke wonder and educate, says V. S. Ramachandran, but too often "modern museums emphasise the latter at the expense of the former". An exception to that is the "vast and astonishing array of anthropological curiosities from all over the world" at the Pitt Rivers Museum in Oxford (he, too, finds the shrunken head collection fascinating). In San Francisco, Ramachandran adores the Exploratorium. "Every time I go there I feel like Alice escaping into the magical wonderland of science. The tactile maze is my favourite. You crawl through this tube that twists and turns its way in 3D through several elevated intermediate chambers, exploring and groping your way around different textures and shapes - all in complete darkness. It allows you to rediscover the subtlety of your tactile senses," he says. "And you are allowed to take a date." 
V. S. Ramachandran is a neuroscientist and director of the Center for Brain and Cognition at the University of California, San Diego


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