Vol. 12 nº 3 - Jul/Aug/Set de 2018
History Note Páginas: 321 a 325

Cerebral localization of the mind and higher functions: the beginnings

Authors Eliasz Engelhardt


keywords: cardiocentric, cephalocentric, brain ventricles, animal spirit, higher functions.

The debates about the mind and its higher functions, and attempts to locate them in the body, have represented a subject of interest of innumerable sages since ancient times. The doubt concerning the part of the body that housed these functions, the heart (cardiocentric doctrine) or the brain (cephalocentric doctrine), drove the search. The Egyptians, millennia ago, held a cardiocentric view. A very long time later, ancient Greek scholars took up the theme anew, but remained undecided between the heart and the brain, a controversy that lasted for centuries. The cephalocentric view prevailed, and a new inquiry ensued about the location of these functions within the brain, the ventricles or the nervous tissue, which also continued for centuries. The latter localization, although initially inaccurate, gained traction. However, it represented only a beginning, as further studies in the centuries that followed revealed more precise definitions and localizations of the higher mental functions.


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