By Charles G. Gross

ISBN-10: 0262259664

ISBN-13: 9780262259668

Neuroscientist Charles Gross has been attracted to the heritage of his box for the reason that his days as an undergraduate. A gap within the Head is the second one selection of essays during which he illuminates the learn of the mind with interesting episodes from the prior. This volume’s stories variety from the heritage of trepanation (drilling a gap within the cranium) to neurosurgery as painted through Hieronymus Bosch to the invention that bats navigate utilizing echolocation.

The emphasis is on blind alleys and error in addition to triumphs and discoveries, with historic practices attached to contemporary advancements and controversies. Gross first reaches again into the beginnings of neuroscience, then takes up the interplay of artwork and neuroscience, exploring, between different issues, Rembrandt’s “Anatomy Lesson” work, and eventually, examines discoveries by means of scientists whose paintings was once scorned of their personal time yet confirmed right in later eras.

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Another interesting development was the return of E. L. 40 He estimates that there may now be more than 100 surgeons carrying out the operation. Unlike in the past, they now use modern Western local anesthetics injected into the scalp prior to surgery. However, the reasons for the very low rate of infections still have not been studied systematically. ’’ 41 The British Medical Journal took these developments seriously enough to issue a warning of their dangers: Doctors have warned about the dangers of trepanning after the launch of several websites promoting the ‘‘do it yourself ’’ surgery and the case of a Gloucestershire woman who drilled a 2 cm diameter hole in her skull.

Papers from this unique three-day meeting were published as Trepanation: History, Discovery, Theory,39 which provides the most complete review of the subject to date. A major achievement of the meeting was the demonstration that 19 Chapter 1 A Hole in the Head trepanation was widespread in many regions of Europe, Asia, Africa, Oceania, and the Americas in both preliterate and literate periods. The volume also contains illustrations of trephined skulls from many cultures and of the great variety of instruments used.

The very first version of this paper was in an early draft of my 1961 doctoral dissertation on the frontal cortex in monkeys. 1. Sigerist, 1951, 1961; Sarton, 1959; Keele, 1957. The Yellow Emperor’s Classic is now believed to be a compendium of di¤erent early Chinese medical writings. See the new introduction by Lo in Lu and Needham (1980). 2. Lloyd, 1975; Longrigg, 1993; Gross, 1998a. All of the writings of the pre-Socratic philosophers are lost. All we know about them comes from later classical writers.

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A Hole in the Head: More Tales in the History of Neuroscience by Charles G. Gross


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