HF9 (3000 BC (500BC (130-200 BC. (Renaissance1500-1800 AD (
Started to experiment with animals six
centuries after Aristotle and found in one of his experiments that
after severing nerves in the throat, a pig would stop screaming
but not breathing, which suggested that the voice comes from
o He dissected brains and published drawings of them
o The brain was not important for reason or emotion but
residence for the soul
o How did the brain communicate with the body?
▪ The soul lived in the solid parts of the brain and
produced and stored animal spirits (= spirits that were
thought to travel over the nerves between the ventricles
in the brain and the body)
▪ The ventricles were an apertures in the middle of the
brain which for a long time were thought to contain
perceptions, memories and thoughts
Andreas Vesalius (1514-1564)
resumed Galen’s view and extended it onto
humans. He found three ventricles which functions became differentiated
- Front ventricle: Receives information from the senses (“common sense”)
- Second ventricle: In the middle and comprised thought and judgment
- Third ventricle: At the back and contains memory
- With the discovery of Galen’s texts researcher also regained interest in the
relationship between injuries and behavior. The physician von Grafenberg for
example concluded that brain damage can lead to speech problems.
- The focus gradually turned to the
of the brain rather than the ventricles
- In the 17 th century they started to pay attention to the difference between the
outer layer or the cerebral hemispheres and the layer underneath
Thomas Willis (1664)
was one of the first researchers
to implicate the grey part
of the brain in the functions of memory
Around the same time scholars started to doubt the existence of spirits in the
nerves and hypothesized that fluid flows in them
Increased Interest in Reflexes:
That some behaviors were elicited automatically
without voluntary intervention became the focus of interest.
o Galen had already discovered the same in animals and had ascribed
“sympathy” between the various body parts ( sympathetic nervous system)
was also interested in reflexes because
they fitted within his mechanistic view of the body.
He argued that a reflex consisted of a sensory
impression which rushed to the brain and was
reflected back into a motor command. This process
was unconscious and involuntary. (1633)
published a book in 1784 in which the
argued that reflexes were not controlled by the
brain but involved the spinal cord
He divided the soul into three parts (Tripartite Soul)
- The highest part is situated in the brain and responsible for reasoning. It
directly came from the soul of the universe and was immortal.
- The second part dealt with sensation, mortal and situated in the heart
- The lower part dealt with appetite and was place in the liver
He was convinced that the heart was the seat of the soul and
functioned as the counterbalance of the heart. They formed a functional unit in
which the brain tempered the heat and seething of the heart.
Edwin Smith Papyrus
Documents from Ancient Egypt that contains short
descriptions of the symptoms and treatment of different brain injury – it was found
in 1862 and was presumably written around 3000 B.C.
• But the existence of the papyrus did not imply that knowledge contained in it was
widespread and most scholars were convinced that the heart was the seat of the
soul. This can be concluded from the fact that efforts were made to conserve it.