A History of Nerve Functions: From Animal Spirits to by Sidney Ochs

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By Sidney Ochs

Sidney Ochs starts his survey with a chronological examine the historical past of nerves from the 5th century B.C. to the early eighteenth century to illustrate the advance of our wisdom of the molecular mechanisms of neuronal functionality. Ochs then adopts a thematic process, contemplating key issues from the eighteenth century to the current. the quantity will function a useful source for historians of neuroscience and medication, philosophers of technological know-how and drugs, and neuroscientists.

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8:4 P1: GGE 052124742Xc03 38 CB616-Ochs-v2 December 26, 2003 A HISTORY OF NERVE FUNCTIONS Middle Ages was aimed mostly to further the Church’s religious teachings by catering to the mundane needs of its flocks. 6 To the extent that this involved knowing more of the nature of the relation of the soul to the body, attention was given to Greek philosophy and science. The Latins in the West debated, as did the Greeks, whether the seat of the soul, especially its conscious reasoning part, was located in the brain as Plato taught, in the heart according to Aristotle, dispersed throughout the body, or even that it had no locus in space at all.

75 The forms have a real existence and act on material to give it its identity. The soul can be considered a form that acts to make the body what it is. It was considered as having three parts, with the highest (the rational) responsible for the mind. Below it is the “spirited” part, the source of action. The lowest is the appetitive, responsible for appetites, concupiscence, – carnal desires. The highest part of the soul having to do with reason, consciousness, thought, and judgment imposes its control over the lower parts of the soul.

And that the soul’s first instrument for all the sensations of the animal and for its voluntary motions as well be as this pneuma; and therefore when the pneuma has escaped, and until it is collected again, it does not deprive the animal of its life but renders it incapable of sensation and motion. 31 Galen, as did the Alexandrians, clearly distinguished nerves from tendons and ligaments, and knew that a muscle’s action is dependent on its innervation. He demonstrated this in the vivisected pig.

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