Hektoen International

A Journal of Medical Humanities

Tag: neuroanatomy

  • Dear brainstem, you remind me of the Mona Lisa

    Serena YueHong Kong, China Dear brainstem, You remind me of the Mona Lisa, seated firmly and comfortably atop the spinal cord. The Mona Lisa exudes royalty and class, from her posture and garments to the plump smoothness of her hands. Your elegance also enthralls me, from the sleek medulla oblongata, ascending to the pons with…

  • Book review: “All manner of ingenuity and industry”: a bio-bibliography of Dr. Thomas Willis 1621–1675

    Arpan K. Banerjee Solihull, United Kingdom   Cover of “All manner of ingenuity and industry” by Alastair Compston. Thomas Willis, born four hundred years ago, is still known by students of neuroanatomy today for the eponymous Circle of Willis. Yet most doctors do not know the story of Willis, the seventeenth-century British physician and his…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • The brain

    Jorge LazareffLos Angeles, California, United States I saw the painting at the warehouses at 50 Moganshan Road, which have been transformed into a sui-generis art district. The layout of the place allows for a chaotic meandering, from a wide space with art on the walls and solicitous employees standing by screen desktops, to a maze…

  • Neuroanatomy: A transition in understanding and observation

    Charlene OngSt. Louis, Missouri, United States Western medicine’s understanding of neuroanatomy over the last several millennia has reflected the dynamic cultural values and social norms regarding the human body and its function. The journey that culminated in accurate and reproducible representations of the brain required a tolerance of human inquiry, advances in preservation technology, and…