New PDF release: Brain, Vision, Memory: Tales in the History of Neuroscience

By Charles G. Gross

ISBN-10: 0262571358

ISBN-13: 9780262571357

Charles G. Gross is an experimental neuroscientist who makes a speciality of mind mechanisms in imaginative and prescient. he's additionally thinking about the historical past of his box. In those stories describing the expansion of information concerning the mind from the early Egyptians and Greeks to the current time, he makes an attempt to reply to the query of the way the self-discipline of neuroscience developed into its smooth incarnation in the course of the twists and turns of history.

The first essay tells the tale of the visible cortex, from the 1st written point out of the mind via the Egyptians, to the philosophical and physiological reports by means of the Greeks, to the darkish a long time and the Renaissance, and eventually, to the fashionable paintings of Hubel and Wiesel. the second one essay makes a speciality of Leonardo da Vinci's attractive anatomical paintings at the mind and the attention: used to be Leonardo drawing the physique saw, the physique remembered, the physique examine, or his personal dissections? The 3rd essay derives from the query of no matter if there could be a exclusively theoretical biology or biologist; it highlights the paintings of Emanuel Swedenborg, the eighteenth-century Swedish mystic who was once 200 years sooner than his time. The fourth essay includes a secret: how did the mostly missed mind constitution known as the "hippocampus minor" grow to be, and why was once it so very important within the controversies that swirled approximately Darwin's theories? the ultimate essay describes the invention of the visible features of the temporal and parietal lobes. the writer lines either advancements to nineteenth-century observations of the impact of temporal and parietal lesions in monkeys -- observations that have been forgotten and thus rediscovered.

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Additional info for Brain, Vision, Memory: Tales in the History of Neuroscience

Sample text

And, in the fourth century BCE, the study of the effects of damage to the human brain was the most likely way of reaching a “more correct” conception of the brain than Aristotle had. In fact, one of the few places where he approaches a correct view of brain function is in the rare “clinical” passage quoted above (PA653b), in which he suggests that mental disease follows from a malfunctioning of the brain’s cooling functions. As discussed in detail below, 600 years later, Galen’s observations of human head injuries led him to perform the ªrst recorded experiments on the brain (using piglets), and his observations of spinal injuries to gladiators led directly to his brilliant series of experiments on the effects of spinal cord transection.

Despite (or perhaps because of ) his father’s profession, Aristotle at no time seemed interested in medicine or medical writing. Indeed, medicine appears to be one of the few things that did not concern this polymath. And, in the fourth century BCE, the study of the effects of damage to the human brain was the most likely way of reaching a “more correct” conception of the brain than Aristotle had. In fact, one of the few places where he approaches a correct view of brain function is in the rare “clinical” passage quoted above (PA653b), in which he suggests that mental disease follows from a malfunctioning of the brain’s cooling functions.

The early church fathers choose this hard region as a good one for the safe storage of valuable brain goods, that is, memories. Empirical support for the cell doctrine was not lacking, as shown in this quotation from Andre du Laurens (ca. 1597), professor of medicine and chancellor of Montpellier University and physician to Henry IV63: If we will (saith Aristotle in his Problemes) enter into any serious and deepe conceit we knit the browes and draw them up: if we will call to mind and remember anything, wee hang downe the head, and rub the hinder part, which sheweth very well that the imagination lieth before and the memorie behinde .

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Brain, Vision, Memory: Tales in the History of Neuroscience by Charles G. Gross


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