Hektoen International

A Journal of Medical Humanities

Tag: mind

  • Book review: Am I Normal?

    Arpan K. BanerjeeSolihull, England “Am I normal?” is a question that many of us ask at some point in our lives. The existential angst of the twentieth century has resulted in a desire to fit in to society and gain acceptability from peers. The term “normal” was first used in the field of mathematics, but…

  • The pineal: seat of the soul

    JMS Pearce Hull, England, United Kingdom   Fig 1. Pineal gland 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…

  • Origin of the mind

    Bhargavi Bhattacharyya Kolkata, India   Artificial Intelligence. Photo by Gerd Altman. From Pixabay. How are the mind and brain related? The brain is a ball of nerve cells, or neurons. The mind, the functional unit of the brain, includes imagination, perception, thinking, intelligence, judgment, language, memory, and emotions. How do these basic units, neurons, translate…

  • The use of language in health and illness narratives

    Mariella ScerriVictor Grech Malta While I was as busy as anyoneon the sunny plain of life, I heardof you laid aside in the shadowyrecess where our sunshine ofhope and joy could neverpenetrate to you.– Harriet Martineau1 Literary works can illustrate the loneliness and social isolation experienced by people when they are sick.2 The chasm between health…

  • Covid-19 and the mind: a short play

    Catalina Florescu Hoboken, New Jersey, United States   Synchronized Mood by Oana Chivoiu, Assistant Professor at South Louisiana CC Characters: LOLA, late 40’s TORA, mid 40’s Setting: Two apartments in NYC. Imagine the dialogue happening in two balconies or, for a more absurd take, the same apartment divided by French doors. Time: During the historic…

  • Oliver Sacks and caring for the whole person

    Margaret Marcum Boca Raton, Florida   Body shapes, female. Martin Addison. Wellcome Collection. CC BY 4.0. The neurologist Oliver Sacks—“The Poet Laureate of Medicine” according to The New York Times—developed an effective clinical method of treating the patient as a complete person rather than as a defective body part. He wrote that clinicians “are concerned…

  • Reading the brain in John Keats’s “Ode to Psyche”

    Kathryne DycusMadrid, Spain The Romantic poet John Keats wrote in a letter dated May 18, 1818, “I am glad at not having given away my medical books, which I shall look over again to keep alive the little I knew towards that work.”1 Though the Romantic poet abandoned a career in medicine, the knowledge he…

  • Muslim women healers of the medieval and early modern Ottoman Empire

    Nada DarwishAlan S. WeberDoha, Qatar Although known only through court documents, legal proceedings, and references in the writings of male practitioners, the tabiba—a female practitioner of folk medicine, midwifery, and gynecology—was an important member of the medical community in the Ottoman Empire (1299–1923). The existing historical record unfortunately obscures the important role that women physicians, nurses,…