Golgi and Ramon y Cajal

Camillo GolgiSantiago Ramón y CajalThe blog Cocktail Party Physics has recently posted a piece with some basic coverage of two great neurologists from the past: Camillo Golgi and Santiago Ramón y Cajal (see here and here for earlier AHP posts). As you may recall, Golgi, who invented a revolutionary technique for staining brain tissue, concluded that the brain consists of an interconnected web of fibers. Ramon y Cajal, using Golgi’s staining method, averred, by contrast, that the brain is made up of billions of separate cells — neurons. Ramón y Cajal turned out to be right, of course (at least by current lights), but he wouldn’t have been able to make the discovery without Golgi’s technique, so the two rivals shared the 1906 Nobel Prize for physiology or medicine.

This post made the latest issue of Encephalon: Psychology and Neuroscience Writing Carnival (hosted this time by the Of Two Minds blog). Encephalon also included a link to our own March 24th piece on the history of Lithium (which the author of Mind Hacks declares it to be one of his favorites) and to our March 21st post on Roger Thomas’ article about errors in history of psychology textbooks. It’s nice to get noticed. 🙂

About Christopher Green

Professor of Psychology at York University (Toronto). Former editor of the Journal of the History of the Behavioral Sciences. Creator of the "Classics in the History of Psychology" website and of the "This Week in the History of Psychology" podcast series.