Foundations of the Neuron Doctrine

Foundations of the Neuron Doctrine

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For a century, the neuron doctrine has been the basis for our concepts of nervous organization and brain function, stating that the cell theory applies to the nervous system. Santiago Ramon y Cajal, Spain's greatest scientist, was its main architect; his main tool being a capricious nerve cell stain discovered by Camillo Golgi. This book reviews the original papers on which the neuron doctrine was based, showing that the evidence came from such contributors as Albrecht Kolliker, Sigmund Freud, Wilhelm His, August Forel, Fritdjof Nansen and Gustav Retzius. Many questions were raised which remain relevant today. Electron microscopical studies in the 1950s appeared to confirm the classical doctrine but subsequent studies revealed unsuspected complexities. This book reviews the new studies against the classical work and suggests new directions for revising our concept of the neuron as a basis for the functional organization of the nervous more

Product details

  • Hardback | 350 pages
  • 162 x 238 x 32mm | 821.02g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • New.
  • halftone and line illustrations
  • 0195064917
  • 9780195064919
  • 2,002,756

Review quote

The excerpts from original articles and Shepherd's scholarly comment give a balanced and orderly history of the evidence for the neuron doctrine from the earliest discoveries to its final triumph in the hands of the Spanish histologist Ramon y Cajal. Shepherd's treatment of the reticular theorists is particularly helpful. The book is of interest and importance for anyone interested in the history of the nervous system. The book is essential for every library which covers the history of biology or medicine, and a pleasure for those of us interested in the nervous system. * Mitchell Glickstein, University College, London, Medical History, 1992, 37 *show more

Table of contents

Introduction and overview; From the beginnings to the cell theory; Do nerve cells belong in the cell theory?; Nerve cells or nerve nets?; Kolliker gives in; Support builds for networks; The nerve cell studies of Freud; The revolutionary method of Golgi; A neuron theory takes form: His, Forel, Nansen; Ramon Y Cajal: The shock of recognition; The early discoveries of Cajal; The laws of Cajal; Joining the mainstream; The neuron doctrine; The law of dynamic polarization; Controversy; The synapse and the growth cone; Forging a consensus; Confrontation in Stockholm; Modern revisions of the neuron doctrine; Comments on sources; References; Author index; Subject more

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