By Stanley Finger

Attractively illustrated with over 100 halftones and drawings, this quantity offers a chain of bright profiles that hint the evolution of our wisdom concerning the brain.
starting virtually 5000 years in the past, with the traditional Egyptian examine of "the marrow of the skull," Stanley Finger takes us on a desirable trip from the classical international of Hippocrates, to the time of Descartes and the period of Broca and Ramon y Cajal, to trendy researchers comparable to Sperry. here's a really impressive solid of characters. We meet Galen, a guy of colossal ego and abrasive disposition, whose teachings ruled drugs for 1000 years; Vesalius, a modern of Copernicus, who driven our realizing of human anatomy to new heights; Otto Loewi, pioneer in neurotransmitters, who gave the Nazis his Nobel prize funds and fled Austria for England; and Rita Levi-Montalcini, discoverer of nerve development issue, who in war-torn Italy was once compelled to do her learn in her bed room. for every person, Finger examines the philosophy, the instruments, the books, and the tips that introduced new insights. Finger additionally appears to be like at broader topics--how based are researchers at the paintings of others? What makes the time ripe for discovery? And what function does likelihood or serendipity play? And he comprises many desirable historical past figures in addition, from Leonardo da Vinci and Emanuel Swedenborg to Karl August Weinhold--who claimed to have reanimated a lifeless cat by way of filling its cranium with silver and zinc--and Mary Shelley, whose Frankenstein was once encouraged by means of such experiments.
huge ranging in scope, imbued with an infectious spirit of event, listed below are vibrant snap shots of giants within the box of neuroscience--remarkable people who discovered new how one can take into consideration the equipment of the brain.

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Of all the possibilities, he found himself most attracted to a medicine based on anatomy and physiology. Although Galen concluded that these two sciences were the legs on which medicine must stand, he did not close his eyes to the best qualities of the other schools. His idea was to pick and borrow from each school, hoping to unify medicine under a single banner. He became so dedicated to his goal that he never gave serious thought to marriage, social activities, or other "distractions" that could interfere with his career.

Moreover, he reasoned, because certain primitive animals are capable of movement and sensation but do not have brains, the brain can not be responsible for these functions. In addition, he pointed out, the heart is centrally located and feels warm, whereas the brain is far from the center of the body and feels cool. Warmth, he emphasized, is significant because it distinguishes living organisms from dead ones. Further, the beating heart can be seen well before the brain in embryos. Additionally, the heart was recognized as "the acropolis of the body" by the Egyptians, the Mesopotamians, the Hebrews, the Hindus, and the early Greeks.

Interestingly, the Hippocratic writers did not think of epilepsy as a distinctly human condition. They wrote that it can be seen in pets and domestic animals and is commonly encountered in goats. 22 HIPPOCRATES 31 The Four Humors and Treatment The author of On the Sacred Disease not only presents new ideas about epilepsy, but editorializes about the state of religious medicine. He writes that charlatans and priest-healers have for too long invoked the twin concepts of sin and divine punishment as convenient ways to mask their inadequacies in treatment.

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