1 Brief History of Neuroscience

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Brief History of (Cognitive) Neuroscience: 

Brief History of (Cognitive) Neuroscience Antti Revonsuo University of Skövde

Brief History of (Cognitive) Neuroscience: 

Brief History of (Cognitive) Neuroscience The First Big Questions: 1) In the human body, where is the seat of the soul (or the mind)? 2) What is the function of the brain?

Brief History of (Cognitive) Neuroscience: 

Brief History of (Cognitive) Neuroscience The First Big Questions: 1) In the human body, where is the seat of the soul (or the mind)? * characteristics of the soul: movement (animation), breathing, warmth, blood, reason, emotion ”soul” = what makes a thing alive as opposed to dead = what makes a thing to have a ”mind” >> biological and psychological reality were lumped together! ANIMA, ANIMUS = 'life', 'soul', 'spirit' 2) What is the function of the brain?

Aristotle (384-322 BC):: 

Aristotle (384-322 BC):

Aristotle (384-322 BC):: 

Aristotle (384-322 BC): Cardiocentric view: * The heart is the center of intellectual and perceptual functions > it is centrally located in the body > it is beating throughout life > it is warm

Aristotle (384-322 BC):: 

Aristotle (384-322 BC): Cardiocentric view: * The heart is the center of intellectual and perceptual functions > it is centrally located in the body > it is beating throughout life > it is warm * The brain’s function is to cool the blood (and to regulate the heart’s temperature): it acts like a radiator

Aristotle (384-322 BC):: 

Aristotle (384-322 BC): Cardiocentric view: The heart was traditionally considered a more important organ than the brain: Egyptians, Mesopotamians, Jews, Hindus, earlier Greeks * Aristotle: the ”intellectual soul” (nous): divine, not located in the body >> shared Plato’s dualism?

Brain-centered view: 

Brain-centered view Alcmaion (500BC): * pythagorean school * dissected animals * sensory nerves lead from eyes to the brain >> sensing and thinking must take place in the brain!

HIPPOCRATE (460-370 b.c.): 

HIPPOCRATE (460-370 b.c.) Men ought to know that from nothing else than the brain come joys, delights, laughter and sports, and sorrows, griefs... In these ways I am of the opinion that the brain exercises the greatest power in man. Hippocrate: On the Sacred Disease

GALENOS (AD 130-200): 

GALENOS (AD 130-200) - Pergamon > Alexandria > Rome

GALENOS (AD 130-200): 

GALENOS (AD 130-200) - Pergamon > Alexandria > Rome - surgeon for the gladiators - served the Emperors in Rome as court physician - wrote hundreds of studies

GALENOS (AD 130-200): 

GALENOS (AD 130-200) - animal dissections, brain surgery, experimental lesions >> speech does not come from the chest >> brain does not cool the blood >> the role of the nervous system in the control of behaviour!

GALENOS (AD 130-200): 

GALENOS (AD 130-200) Functions of the nervous system vital spirits (heart) >> higher animal spirits (brain ventricles) >> nerves as tubes where animal spirits flow (sensory and motor nerves) - the brain as the seat of the soul and the intellect!

GALENOS (AD 130-200): 

GALENOS (AD 130-200) The Ventricle Theory - the brain (but not brain tissue) as the seat of the soul and the intellect! - the intellectual soul has 3 parts: imagination, cognition, memory >> functional localization to 3 different brain ventricles (cerebrospinal fluid)

GALENOS (AD 130-200): 

GALENOS (AD 130-200) The Ventricle Theory * This theory persisted in Europe for 1500 years! * After Galenos, Platonic and Christian dualism reigned: >> to understand the soul, it is pointless to study the body or the brain

Human brain anatomy: 1500’s: 

Human brain anatomy: 1500’s

Human brain anatomy: 1500-1700’s: 

Human brain anatomy: 1500-1700’s

Andreas Vesalius (1514-1564): 

Andreas Vesalius (1514-1564)

Andreas Vesalius: Humani Corporis Fabrica (1543): 

Andreas Vesalius: Humani Corporis Fabrica (1543)

Andreas Vesalius: Humani Corporis Fabrica (1543): 

Andreas Vesalius: Humani Corporis Fabrica (1543)

Andreas Vesalius: Humani Corporis Fabrica (1543): 

Andreas Vesalius: Humani Corporis Fabrica (1543) - a detailed anatomical description of the body - based on dissections of the human body

Andreas Vesalius: Humani Corporis Fabrica (1543): 

Andreas Vesalius: Humani Corporis Fabrica (1543) - brain anatomy included - rejected the ventricle theory: * animals have ventricles but not the intellectual faculties of the soul

Vesalius: 

Vesalius

Andreas Vesalius: Humani Corporis Fabrica (1543): 

Andreas Vesalius: Humani Corporis Fabrica (1543) I ventured to ascribe to the ventricles no more than that they are cavities and spaces in which the inhaled air, added to the vital spirit from the heart, is, by power of the peculiar substance of the brain, transformed into animal spirit. This is distributed through the nerves to the organs of sensation and motion, so that these organs, with the help of this spirit...perform their functions.

René Descartes (1596-1650): 

René Descartes (1596-1650)

René Descartes (1596-1650): 

René Descartes (1596-1650) Where is the Seat of the Soul? ”The soul is really joined to the whole body, and we cannot properly speaking say that it exists in any one of its parts to the exclusion of the others” ”Although the soul is joined to the whole body, there is yet in that a certain part in which it exercises its functions more particularly than in all the others” ”The soul has its principal seat in the little gland which exists in the middle of the brain, from whence it radiates forth through all the remainder of the body by means of the animal spirits and nerves.”

René Descartes (1596-1650): 

René Descartes (1596-1650)

René Descartes (1596-1650): 

René Descartes (1596-1650)

Descartes: on the motions of the body : 

Descartes: on the motions of the body Descartes' Metaphor: The Brain and nerves as a Hydraulic Mechanism hydraulic: of water moving through pipes, worked by the pressure of the fluid

Descartes: on the motions of the body : 

Descartes: on the motions of the body The sanguine spirits enter the cavities of the brain (the ventricles) and from there... "enter the pores (or conduits) in its substance, and from these conduits proceed to the nerves. And depending on their entering (or their mere tendency to enter) some nerves rather than others, they are able to change the shapes of the muscles into which these nerves are inserted and in this way to move all the members. Similarly you may have observed in the grottoes and fountains in the gardens of our kings that the force that makes the water leap from its source is able of itself to move diverse machines and even make them play certain instruments or pronounce certain words according to the various arrangements of the tubes through which the water is conducted."

Slide34: 

"And truly one can well compare the nerves of the machine that I am describing to the tubes of the mechanisms of these fountains, its muscles and tendons to diverse other engines and springs which serve to move these mechanisms, its animal spirits to the water which drives them, of which the heart is the source and the brain's cavities the water main. Moreover breathing and other such actions which are ordinary and natural to it, and which depend on the flow of the spirits, are like the movements of the clock or the mill which the ordinary flow of the water can render continuous. External objects which merely by their presence act on the organs of sense and by this means force them to move in several different ways, depending on how the different parts of the brain are arranged, are like strangers who, on entering some of the grottoes of these fountains, unwittingly cause the movements that then occur, since they cannot enter without stepping on certain tiles which are so arranged that, for example, if they approach a Diana bathing they will cause her to hide in the reeds; and if they pass farther to pursue her they will cause a Neptune to advance and menace them with his trident; or if they go in another direction they will make a marine monster come out and spew water into their faces, or other such things according to the whims of the engineers who made them. And finally when there shall be a rational soul in this machine, it will have its chief seat in the brain and will reside there like the turncock who must be in the main to which all the tubes of these machines repair when he wishes to excite, prevent, or in some manner alter their movements." [Descartes: Traite de l'Homme (1664) (T.S.Hall transl.)]

From "animal spirits" to neuroelectricity 1800-1850's: 

From "animal spirits" to neuroelectricity 1800-1850's electricity causes muscle contraction (Luigi Galvani, 1791) electrical activity recorded directly from frog's nerve (Du Bois Reymond, 1848) measurement of the speed of neural conductance (Helmholz, 1850´s)

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