Vilayanur Ramachandran, MBBS, PhD, Hon.FRCP, Hon.DSc

Ramachandran is Director of the Center for Brain and Cognition and Distinguished Professor with the Psychology Department and Neurosciences Program at the University of California, San Diego, and Adjunct Professor of Biology at the Salk Institute. Ramachandran initially trained as a physician MBBS (MD) at Stanley Medical College, Madras, India, and subsequently obtained a PhD from Trinity College at the University of Cambridge and FRCP; London (Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians) and two honorary doctorates (DSc). Ramachandran’s early work was on visual perception, but he is best known for his experiments in behavioral neurology, which, despite their apparent simplicity, have strongly influenced the way we think about the brain. He has been called “The Marco Polo of neuroscience” by Richard Dawkins and “The modern Paul Broca” by Nobel laureate Eric Kandel.


Harking back to his career in vision Nobel laureate David Hubel has said of Ramachandran’s work ‘ – packed with ideas that are bold, irreverent, ingenious and original”


“NEWSWEEK magazine has named him a member of “The Century Club” – one of the “hundred most prominent people to watch in the next century.””



In 2005 he was awarded the Henry Dale Medal and elected to an honorary life membership by the Royal Institution of London, where he also gave a Friday evening discourse. His other honors and awards include fellowships from All Souls College, Oxford, and Stanford University (Hilgard Visiting Professor); the Presidential Lecture Award from the American Academy of Neurology, the annual Ramon Y Cajal award from the International Neuropsychiatry Society, and the Ariens-Kappers medal from the Royal Netherlands Academy of Sciences. In 2003 he gave the annual BBC Reith lectures and was the first physician/psychologist to give the lectures since they were begun by Bertrand Russel in 1949. He also gave the annual Gifford Lectures in Glasgow, (2012). In 1995 he gave the Decade of the Brain lecture at the 25th annual (Silver Jubilee) meeting of the Society for Neuroscience. His book PHANTOMS formed the basis for a two-part series on Channel Four TV (UK) and a 1-hour PBS special in the USA. NEWSWEEK magazine has named him a member of “The Century Club” – one of the “hundred most prominent people to watch in the next century.” He is also a frequent speaker at the regular TED events.


His two most recent accolades are TIME magazines designating him; “ One of 100 most important people in the world.” and the president of India awarded him the second-highest honorific title in India, the “ Padma Bhushan’