By Sidney Ochs
Sidney Ochs starts his survey with a chronological examine the background of nerves from the 5th century B.C. to the early eighteenth century to illustrate the improvement of our wisdom of the molecular mechanisms of neuronal functionality. Ochs then adopts a thematic procedure, contemplating key subject matters from the eighteenth century to the current. the amount will function a useful source for historians of neuroscience and drugs, philosophers of technology and medication, and neuroscientists.
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Additional resources for A History of Nerve Functions: From Animal Spirits to Molecular Mechanisms
GALEN’S ALTERNATE CONCEPTION OF HARD AND SOFT NERVES While Galen espoused the role of pneuma ﬂowing in nerve channels, the difference he found between the softer sensory and harder motor nerves led him to advance an alternative model of the agency of nerve action: With regard to the ventricles of the brain, when they were [cut into and] emptied of pneuma the whole animal lost the power of sensation, and for that reason we said that the pneuma was useful for the sensations and motions of the parts; should we therefore similarly suppose that there is also a certain pneuma in each nerve?
26 The general view held by the cell theorists was that animal spirits ﬂowed from their initial formation in the forward cell, where they acquired the power of imagination; back to the middle cell, where the power of thought (understanding) is located; and then to the posterior cell, which has the power of memorization. Understanding would judge what was valid in the imagination, changing what was necessary before sending the modiﬁed spirits to the posterior cell to be retained in memory. Memories, when recalled, could also be sent forward to the middle cell for understanding.
Solmsen, 1961). 90 (Dobson, 1927). 91 (Wilson, 1959). (Longrigg, 1993), pp. 86, 87. Damage to this region can rapidly cause death. Modern studies have shown this to occur through interference with the medulla and the autonomic centers in it rather than to the cerebellum per se (Neuburger, 1981), (Ochs, 1983). 20:55 P1: FCH/FFX P2: FCH/FFX 052124742Xc01 QC: FCH/FFX CB616-Ochs-v2 T1: FCH December 29, 2003 INTRODUCTION 23 The central tenet in Erasistratus’ schematization, that pneuma and not blood is contained in the arteries, appears to have been founded on the anatomical technique he used in his animal studies.
A History of Nerve Functions: From Animal Spirits to Molecular Mechanisms by Sidney Ochs