Tag Archives: Brain

Gordon Morgan Holmes MD., FRS.

JMS Pearce Hull, England Figure 1: Gordon Holmes “Beneath the exterior of a martinet there was an Irish heart of gold” Wilder Penfield Gordon Holmes (1876-1965) was born in Castlebellingham, Ireland. He was named after his father, a landowner, descended from a Yorkshire family that had settled in King’s County (County Offaly) in the mid-seventeenth […]

Cranium: the symbolic powers of the skull

F. Gonzalez-Crussi Chicago, Illinois, USA   It Was a Man and a Pot. Georgia O’Keeffe. 1942. Crocker Art Museum Of all bodily parts, the head has traditionally enjoyed the greatest prestige. The Platonic Timaeus tells us that secondary gods (themselves created by the Demiurge) copied the round form of the universe to make the head, […]

Costanzo Varolio, who described the pons

The pons is a broad band of nerve fibers linking the medulla oblongata and cerebellum with the midbrain. It serves to relay messages sent downstream from the cerebral cortex to the cerebellum, the medulla, and the spinal cord. Shaped as a protuberance resembling a bridge with the brainstem flowing under it like a canal, the […]

Of men and brains and rats

Observers of the affairs of man in an age of mass destruction weaponry have long worried about the future of the human race. Why do men so often make erroneous decisions and act in ways detrimental to their interests and even to their survival? Is not homo sapiens the epitome of millions of years of […]

Nature telling her secrets: the Kepler–Descartes connection

Ronald Fishman Chicago, Illinois, United States   Johannes Kepler (1571-1630) Nature tells us one secret in terms of another, and she may refuse to disclose one secret until another has been laid bare. – T.S. Kuhn1 In 1604, Johannes Kepler solved the problem of how light is refracted within the eye to produce an image on the […]

Revisiting a medical classic

James Franklin Chicago, Illinois, United States   Théophile Alajouanine (1890–1980) Théophile Alajouanine delivered the Harveian Lecture to the Harveian Society of London on March 17, 1948. It was published in the journal Brain in September 1948 and became a medical classic, most frequently cited in papers devoted to the neurology of musical creativity and to […]