Tag Archives: Descartes

New Issue JHN: Facial Palsy, Nerve Tissue, & More

The fall issue of the Journal of the History of the Neurosciences is now online. The issue includes pieces on the history of investigations of facial palsy, the structure of nerve tissue, and a 17th century case of word blindness. Full titles, authors, and abstracts follow below.

“Early Observations on Facial Palsy,” by J. M. S. Pearce. The abstract reads,

Before Charles Bell’s eponymous account of facial palsy, physicians of the Graeco-Roman era had chronicled the condition. The later neglected accounts of the Persian physicians Abu al-Hasan Ali ibn Sahl Rabban al-Tabari and Abu Bakr Muhammad ibn Zakarīya Rāzi (“Rhazes”) and Avicenna in the first millennium are presented here as major descriptive works preceding the later description by Stalpart van der Wiel in the seventeenth century and those of Friedreich and Bell at the end of the eighteenth and the beginning of the nineteenth centuries.

“Discovering the Structure of Nerve Tissue: Part 2: Gabriel Valentin, Robert Remak, and Jan Evangelista Purkynĕ,” by Alexandr Chvátal. The abstract reads, Continue reading New Issue JHN: Facial Palsy, Nerve Tissue, & More

Common Errors in History of Psychology Textbooks

Roger K. ThomasIn the fall 2007 issue of the American Journal of Psychology, an article by Roger Thomas (U. Georgia) presented the cases of five erroneous stories that frequently appear in history of psychology textbooks. The episodes included (1) what Santayana really said about people who don’t know the past, (2) the events surrounding Pavlov’s mugging in New York in 1923, (3) Broca’s 1861 “discovery” of a speech center in the brain, (4) the misrepresentation of Morgan’s canon, and (5) the reasons Descartes gave for locating the soul in the pineal gland.

The first of these, although a relatively minor error, is particularly ironic in the context. Continue reading Common Errors in History of Psychology Textbooks