Beluister de BBC Radio: 'In the 5th century BC the Greek physician Hippocrates confidently asserted: "Men ought to know that from the brain and from the brain only arise our pleasures, joys, laughter and jests, as well as our sorrows, pains, grieves and tears."

This might suggest that people have never doubted the importance of the brain, but for Aristotle the heart was the ruler of the body and the seat of the soul. Despite dissections of brains both human and animal throughout the following centuries, in 1669 the Danish anatomist, Nicolaus Steno, still lamented that, "... the brain, the masterpiece of creation, is almost unknown to us...." Why was the brain seen as a mystery for so long (en eigenlijk is het dat nog steeds hè...) and how have our perceptions of how it works and what it symbolises changed over the centuries?'.
2 Juni '08

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