Welcome to the PLoS Podcast. For the first episode, PLoS Biology Editor Ruchir Shah interviews VS Ramachandran, who is the Director of the Center for Brain and Cognition at the University of California San Diego. Dr. Ramachandran has written a number of books, including “Phantoms in the Brain” and “The Tell-Tale Brain”, about many of the neurological conditions his lab has been studying, which include phantom limbs and synesthesia.
Along with his graduate student David Brang, Dr. Ramachandran has written a new article for PLoS Biology called “Survival of the Synesthesia Gene: Why do people hear colors and taste words“.
During the interview, Dr. Ramachandran (or “Rama”) and David Brang discuss the potential neural basis of some common and rare forms of synesthesia, and why this strange condition might have survived evolution. They then discuss their exploration of some other (rather bizarre) neurological conditions, and they finish by contemplating how their research into synesthesia might fit into the larger context of the history of science. Enjoy!
(You can listen here by clicking the Play button, or to download, you can visit the Soundcloud page by clicking the link below)