A History of Nerve Function From Animal Spirits to Molecular Mechanisms Author: Sidney Ochs Publisher: Cambridge, United Kingdom, 2004, pp. 438. ISBN: 0-521-24742-X
This is an interesting book about the historical perspectives of nerve function as seen by early researchers. During the 20th century, two important concepts were investigated deeply: the action potential and the study of nerve fibers (axoplasmic transport).
However, as earliest as the 5th and 6th century BC, in Greece, nerves were conceived as channels carrying sensory impressions by animal spirits to the brain where consciousness awareness and reasoned judgment were located, and from it willed commands.
The review includes topics such as The Greek Science and the Recognition of Nerve as a Channel; Galen's Physiology of the Nervous System; Nerve, Brain, and Soul in the Middle Ages; Renaissance and the New Physiology; New Physical and Chemical Models of Nerve in the Enlightenment; New Systematizations of Nerve Function Enlightenment; Electricity as the Agent of Nerve Action; Nerve Fiber Form and Transformation; Wallerian Degeneration; Nerve Regeneration; Characterization of Axoplasmic Transport; Molecular Models of Transport; Action of Neurotoxins and Neuropathic Changes Related to Transport; Purposeful Reflexes and Instinctive Behavior; and Neural Events Related to Learning and Memory.
We recommend this issue as a valuable reference for historical reviews and for definition of concepts as well as for basic neuroscience. This book is suitable for medical school libraries, public libraries, and for physicians or scientists involved in the fields of neuroscience.
By Eimir Perez Arjona MD
Copyright Maney Publishing Apr 2005
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