A History of Nerve Functions: From Animal Spirits to by Sidney Ochs

By Sidney Ochs

Sidney Ochs starts off his survey with a chronological examine the background of nerves from the 5th century B.C. to the early eighteenth century to illustrate the improvement of our wisdom of the molecular mechanisms of neuronal functionality. Ochs then adopts a thematic strategy, contemplating key themes from the eighteenth century to the current. the amount will function a useful source for historians of neuroscience and medication, philosophers of technology and drugs, and neuroscientists.

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The spent air breathed out was analogized to the sooty vapor emitted from a burning oil lamp. This network of vessels is found at the base of the brain in some animals, but not in man. (Galen, 1968), p. 47. 1. Diagram showing Galenic physiology. Natural spirit generated in the liver is carried by venous blood through the interventricular septum of the heart to the left ventricle where, under the influence of air carried to the left ventricle of the heart by the arteria venalis, it is transformed into vital spirit.

149–153. 13 (Nemesius, 1955). 13:43 P1: FCH/FFX P2: FCH/FFX 052124742Xc02 QC: FCH/FFX T1: FCH CB616-Ochs-v2 GALEN’S PHYSIOLOGY OF THE NERVOUS SYSTEM December 29, 2003 27 Erasistratus’s theory untenable. Galen therefore concluded that the arteries contain blood with vital spirit in it and not only spirit as Erasistratus believed. TRANSFORMATION OF SPIRITS The veins containing natural spirits in its blood nourishes the tissues, whereas the blood carried in the arteries contains vital spirit essential for keeping the tissues in their living state.

24 The loss of sensory and voluntary motor control below the transection follows as expected by the cord receiving these faculties from the brain. Transection of the cord at the highest level of the cervical cord caused paralysis of all four extremities, whereas a transverse section at a lower level affects only the legs. A hemisection has a more restricted effect. 26 The loss of motion seen on only one side in patients that suffered what he called hemiplegy (hemiplegia), he related to his animal experiments in which a hemisection of the cord similarly caused the limbs on only that side to be affected.

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