Hektoen International

A Journal of Medical Humanities

Tag: Memory

  • Learning the vocabulary of medicine (and other foreign languages)

    Edward TaborBethesda, Maryland, United States Both of my parents were physicians, and their discussions were often medical. One weekend when I was about four years old, I listened to one such conversation at lunch and interrupted to ask, “When I grow up, will I be able to speak the language you speak?” They paused to…

  • Book review: How the Mind Changed: A Human History of Our Evolving Brain

    Arpan K. BanerjeeSolihull, United Kingdom The human brain has long been a source of wonder and a fascinating subject for study. Philosophers, scientists, biologists, psychologists, anthropologists, and medical scholars have spent lifetimes studying the brain and how this remarkable organ works. In this book, neuroscientist and author Joseph Jebelli describes the evolutionary development of the…

  • The pineal: seat of the soul

    JMS PearceHull, England, United Kingdom The pineal for millennia had been a structure of mystery. In Ancient Egyptian culture, The Eye of Horus was a sign of prosperity and protection, often referred to as the third eye. In Ayurvedic physiology it corresponds to the sixth chakra—Ajna, located in the middle of the forehead, representing intelligence,…

  • R. Austin Freeman and the Victorian forensic thriller

    Anthony PapagiannisThessaloniki, Greece Many people today are acquainted with well-known books and television series of forensic crime fiction. The modern detective fiction writer is expected to provide detailed descriptions of autopsies, current technology, pharmacology, and toxicology. Yet, even in this relatively new version of the old genre of police fiction, there is nothing new under…

  • Paul Pierre Broca

    JMS PearceHull, England, United Kingdom At the turn of the nineteenth century, knowledge of how the brain worked was largely conjectural. Intelligence, memory, language, and motor and sensory functions had not been localized. The physiologist Flourens, promoting the notion of “cerebral equipotentiality,” concluded, “The cerebral cortex functions as an indivisible whole . . . an…

  • Reconstructing memories and history in One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez

    Tonse N.K. RajuGaithersburg, Maryland, United States “Many years later, as he faced the firing squad, Colonel Aureliano Buendía was to remember that distant afternoon when his father took him to discover ice.” In the opening sentence of his extraordinary masterpiece, Gabriel García Márquez distilled the recurring themes of One Hundred Years of Solitude1: the absurdity…

  • Of Mice and Men: A differential diagnosis for Lennie Small

    Howard FischerUppsala, Sweden In John Steinbeck’s 1937 novel Of Mice and Men,1 the two main characters work as itinerant laborers on farms and ranches in California during the Great Depression. Their only attachments are to each other. George is “small and quick” with “sharp, strong features,” while his companion, Lennie, is “a huge man, shapeless…

  • Omentum: Much more than “policeman of the abdomen”

    Ashok Singh Chicago, Illinois, United States Histology of activated omentum 3 days after placing a 5 cc slurry of inert polydextran particles of approx. 100 micron diameter (1 million particles) in the abdominal cavity of rats. Note the dramatic change in the size and quality of the omentum. While the native omentum is fatty in…

  • The amnesic jokester

    Jason BrandtBaltimore, Maryland, United States Bob T. had suffered a stroke. Not the kind of massive, devastating stroke that left him bereft of language (aphasia), or that rendered him paralyzed on one side of his body (hemiplegia). No, this was a very small stroke deep within his brain; in the medial-dorsal thalamus of the left…

  • A dog like that

    Rebecca OsbornNew Haven, Connecticut, United States “You ever seen a dog like that?” I smile and shake my head. Tony sips his black coffee, his eyes lingering on the open doorway. “What a dog. What a beautiful dog. Most dogs, they try and bite you. This dog? Wouldn’t stop kissin’ me. What a dog.” Tony…