Essays on Science and SocietyBEYOND THE IVORY TOWER

A Distant Mirror for the Brain

Science  02 Jan 2004:
Vol. 303, Issue 5654, pp. 43-44
DOI: 10.1126/science.1090319

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Mankind is currently experiencing a revolution in the understanding of the brain, but as Carl Zimmer relates in his essay, it is not the first such revolution. In the 17th century, medieval notions of soul and spirit faded away, to be replaced by a mechanistic, chemical picture of the brain. Zimmer explores the roots of present-day neuroscience in the scientific revolution and finds some useful lessons for both scientists and laymen today