From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
| It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with History of neurology. (Discuss) Proposed since December 2011. | See also: Neuroscience#History
Early views on the function of the brain regarded it to be a form of "cranial stuffing" of sorts. In ancient Egypt, from the late Middle Kingdom onwards, in preparation for mummification, the brain was regularly removed, for it was the heart that was assumed to be the seat of intelligence. According to Herodotus, during the first step of mummification: "The most perfect practice is to extract as much of the brain as possible with an iron hook, and what the hook cannot reach is mixed with drugs." Over the next five thousand years, this view came to be reversed; the brain is now known to be the seat of intelligence, although colloquial variations of the former remain as in "memorizing something by heart". Contents * 1 Early views * 2 Renaissance * 3 Modern period * 4 See also * 5 References * 6 Further reading * 7 External links| Early views
Hieroglyphic for the word "brain" (c.1700 BC)
The Edwin Smith Surgical Papyrus, written in the 17th century BC, contains the earliest recorded reference to the brain. The word brain (adjacent), occurring eight times in this papyrus, describes the symptoms, diagnosis, and prognosis of two patients, wounded in the head, who had compound fractures of the skull. During the second half of the first millennium BC, the Ancient Greeks developed differing views on the function of the brain. It is said that it was the Pythagorean Alcmaeon of Croton (6th and 5th centuries BC) who first considered the brain to be the place where the mind was located. In the 4th century BC Hippocrates, believed the brain to be the seat of intelligence (based, among others before him, on Alcmaeon's work). During the 4th century BC Aristotle thought that, while the heart was the...