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Minds Behind the BrainA history of the pioneers and their discoveries$
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Stanley Finger

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780195181821

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195181821.001.0001

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Andreas Vesalius: The New “Human” Neuroanatomy

Andreas Vesalius: The New “Human” Neuroanatomy

(p.53) 5 Andreas Vesalius: The New “Human” Neuroanatomy
Minds Behind the Brain

Stanley Finger (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

A free-thinking medical man of the Renaissance and an inquisitive anatomist, Andreas Vesalius left a lasting legacy on neuroanatomy. He published three brief works including Tabulae anatomicae (1538), which contained highly detailed drawings of the human body. The opportunity to dissect human bodies and the preparation of Tabulae anatomicae slowly led Vesalius to realize that Galen's views on anatomy were erroneous. In 1543, he published his landmark De humani corporis fabrica (On the Workings of the Human Body), which featured illustrations presenting the human brain and its parts as they were revealed with a skillful top-to-bottom dissection. The ventricles and the rete mirabile, two structures basic to Galenic physiology, merited special attention in the Fabrica. Vesalius wrote that the human ventricles are not different in shape from those of other mammals, although other animals do not compare to humans when it comes to reasoning powers or other attributes of the rational soul.

Keywords:   Andreas Vesalius, neuroanatomy, brain, ventricles, rete mirabile, Galen, physiology, human body

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