Tag Archives: Journal of the History of the Neurosciences

Special Issue on Cinema and Neuroscience

The first issue of 2016 of the Journal of the History of the Neurosciences is a special issue devoted to “Cinema and Neuroscience: Development and Application of Cinematography in the Field of the Neurosciences.” Full article titles, authors, and abstracts follow below.

Introduction: “Cinema and Neuroscience: Development and Application of Cinematography in the Field of the Neurosciences,” by Geneviève Aubert. No abstract.

“Capturing Motion and Depth Before Cinematography,” by Nicholas J. Wade. The abstract reads,

Visual representations of biological states have traditionally faced two problems: they lacked motion and depth. Attempts were made to supply these wants over many centuries, but the major advances were made in the early-nineteenth century. Motion was synthesized by sequences of slightly different images presented in rapid succession and depth was added by presenting slightly different images to each eye. Apparent motion and depth were combined some years later, but they tended to be applied separately. The major figures in this early period were Wheatstone, Plateau, Horner, Duboscq, Claudet, and Purkinje. Others later in the century, like Marey and Muybridge, were stimulated to extend the uses to which apparent motion and photography could be applied to examining body movements. These developments occurred before the birth of cinematography, and significant insights were derived from attempts to combine motion and depth.

“The Dercum-Muybridge Collaboration and the Study of Pathologic Gaits Using Sequential Photography,” by Douglas J. Lanska. The abstract reads, Continue reading Special Issue on Cinema and Neuroscience

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New JHN: Transnational Psychosurgery, Phantom Limbs, & More

A new issue of Journal of the History of the Neuroscience is now online. Included in this issue are articles on psychosurgery as a transnational movement, artists and phantom limbs, and sex and gender in organology. Full titles, authors, and abstracts follow below.

“A Transnational Perspective on Psychosurgery: Beyond Portugal and the United States,” by Brianne M. Collinsa & Henderikus J. Stam. The abstract reads,

The history of psychosurgery is most often recounted as a narrative wherein Portuguese and American physicians play the leading role. It is a traditional narrative in which the United States and, at times, Portugal are central in the development and spread of psychosurgery. Here we largely abandon the archetypal narrative and provide one of the first transnational accounts of psychosurgery to demonstrate the existence of a global psychosurgical community in which more than 40 countries participated, bolstered, critiqued, modified and heralded the treatment. From its inception in 1935 until its decline in the mid-1960s, psychosurgery was performed on almost all continents. Rather than being a phenomenon isolated to the United States and Portugal, it became a truly transnational movement.

“Phantoms in Artists: The Lost Limbs of Blaise Cendrars, Arthur Rimbaud, and Paul Wittgenstein,” by Laurent Tatu, Julien Bogousslavsky & François Boller. The abstract reads, Continue reading New JHN: Transnational Psychosurgery, Phantom Limbs, & More

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New Issue: Journal of the History of the Neurosciences

The fall 2013 issue of the Journal of the History of the Neurosciences is now online.  Included in this issue are articles on the research into Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep in the 1960s, investigations of animal electricity by Alexander von Humboldt (above), and the academic status of neurobiology in Argentina in the 1920s, among others. Full titles, authors, and abstracts follow below.

“Alexander von Humboldt: Galvanism, Animal Electricity, and Self-Experimentation Part 2: The Electric Eel, Animal Electricity, and Later Years,” by Stanley Finger, Marco Piccolino & Frank W. Stahnisch. The abstract reads,

After extensive experimentation during the 1790s, Alexander von Humboldt remained skeptical about “animal electricity” (and metallic electricity), writing instead about an ill-defined galvanic force. With his worldview and wishing to learn more, he studied electric eels in South America just as the new century began, again using his body as a scientific instrument in many of his experiments. As had been the case in the past and for many of the same reasons, some of his findings with the electric eel (and soon after, Italian torpedoes) seemed to argue against biological electricity. But he no longer used galvanic terminology when describing his electric fish experiments. The fact that he now wrote about animal electricity rather than a different “galvanic” force owed much to Alessandro Volta, who had come forth with his “pile” (battery) for multipling the physical and perceptable effects of otherwise weak electricity in 1800, while Humboldt was deep in South America. Humboldt probably read about and saw voltaic batteries in the United States in 1804, but the time he spent with Volta in 1805 was probably more significant in his conversion from a galvanic to an electrical framework for understanding nerve and muscle physiology. Although he did not continue his animal electricity research program after this time, Humboldt retained his worldview of a unified nature and continued to believe in intrinsic animal electricity. He also served as a patron to some of the most important figures in the new field of electrophysiology (e.g., Hermann Helmholtz and Emil du Bois-Reymond), helping to take the research that he had participated in to the next level.

“Cerebrocerebellar System and Türck’s Bundle,” by Eliasz Engelhardt. The abstract reads, Continue reading New Issue: Journal of the History of the Neurosciences

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New Issue: J. of the History of the Neurosciences

A new issue of the Journal of the History of the Neurosciences has just been released online. Among the topics addressed in the articles featured in this issue are the work of Swedish neurologist Salomon Henschen (right) to establish an international neurological academy in the late 1920s, taraexin theory of schizophrenia, Robert Bentley Todd’s work on nerve cells, and Franz Joseph Gall’s visit to the Netherlands during his 1805 cranioscopic tour. Full titles, authors, and abstracts follow below.

“Salomon Henschen’s Short-Lived Project of an ‘Academia Neurologica Internationalis’ (1929) For the Revival of the International Brain Commission: Documents from the Cécile and Oskar Vogt Archives,” by Bernd Holdorff. The abstract reads,

In 1929, at the age of 82, the Swedish neurologist Salomon Henschen (1847-1930) planned an Academia Neurologica Internationalis. The exchanged letters with Ceacutecile and Oskar Vogt suggest that there was a great number of neuroscientists internationally who approved of the project. However, during three months of preparation, the initial skepticism increased and, although the invitation to the conference had already been printed, it had to be revoked. The endeavors to revive the Brain Commission failed. Two other projects nonetheless did take shape: the founding of one of the largest and most modern brain research institutes in 1931 by the Vogts and the first International Neurological Congress in Berne that same year. For decades, the Brain Commission remained without successors until the International Brain Research Organization (IBRO) was founded in 1961. Continue reading New Issue: J. of the History of the Neurosciences

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New Issue: JHN

The Journal of the History of the Neurosciences‘s first issue of 2011 has just been released online. Included in this issue are seven all new articles. Among the topics addressed in these articles are the vision research of William Wells, anthropological neurology, the origins of the concept of the “dreamy state,” early twentieth century work on recovery after cortical lesions, the early understanding of “psychic blindness” or visual agnosia, and the original meaning of the term “lunatic”. Titles, authors, and abstracts follow below.

“The Singular Vision of William Charles Wells (1757–1817),” by Nicholas J. Wade, Hiroshi Ono, Alistair P. Mapp, and Linda Lillakas. The abstract reads,

William Charles Wells retained an interest in vision throughout his life. His first book was on single vision with two eyes; he integrated vision and eye movements to determine principles of visual direction. On the basis of experiments and observations he formulated three principles of visual direction, which can readily be demonstrated. In the course of these studies, he also examined visual acuity, accommodation and convergence, visual persistence, and visual vertigo. Insights into visual processing were mainly derived from observations of afterimages that were used to provide an index of how the eyes moved. His experiments enabled him to distinguish between the consequences of active and passive eye movements (later called outflow and inflow) as well as describing nystagmus following body rotation. After providing a brief account of Wells’s life, his neglected research on vision is described and assessed.

“Anthropological Neurology: Symptoms and Their Meanings According to Joseph Prick (1909–1978),” by B.C. ter Meulen, W. J. M. Dekkers, A. Keyser, and T. C. A. M. van Woerkom. The abstract reads, Continue reading New Issue: JHN

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New Issue: JHN

A new issue of the Journal of the History of the Neurosciences has just been released online. The issue includes articles on the late-nineteenth century reception of neuron theory, cases of phantom penis in the late-eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, among other topics. Titles, authors, and abstracts follow below.

The Journal of the History of the Neurosciences is the official journal of the International Society for the History of the Neurosciences (ISHN), which will hold a joint meeting with Cheiron, the International Society for the History of the Behavioral and Social Sciences, in Calgary, Alberta, in June 2011. More details about this joint meeting and the after conference workshop in Banff, Alberta can be found here.

“Phantom Penis: Historical Dimensions,” by Nicholas J. Wade and Stanley Finger. The abstract reads:

Interest in sensations from removed body parts other than limbs has increased with modern surgical techniques. This applies particularly to operations (e.g., gender-changing surgeries) that have resulted in phantom genitalia. The impression given in modern accounts, especially those dealing with phantoms associated with penis amputation, is that this is a recently discovered phenomenon. Yet the historical record reveals several cases of phantom penises dating from the late-eighteenth century and the early-nineteenth century. These cases, recorded by some of the leading medical and surgical figures of the era, are of considerable historical and theoretical significance. This is partly because these phantoms were associated with pleasurable sensations, in contrast to the loss of a limb, which for centuries had been associated with painful phantoms. We here present several early reports on phantom penile sensations, with the intent of showing what had been described and why more than 200 years ago. Continue reading New Issue: JHN

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