The Anatomy of the Brain and Nerves (facsimile)
Health Sciences Historical Collection WL101 W735
Birmingham, Alabama: Classics of Medicine Library
Thomas Willis (1621-1675), a physician and Professor of Natural Philosophy at Oxford, is known as the ‘Father of Neuroscience’. He coined the term ‘neurology’ in this book, first published in 1664. In the illustration of the base of the brain shown here (drawn by his friend, the multi-talented Sir Christopher Wren (1632-1723)), we see the dark vessels of what is now known as the arterial ‘Circle of Willis’. Willis belonged to the ‘iatrochemical school’ which tried to explain physiology in chemical terms, as opposed to the more popular mechanical theories of the time.
Thomas Willis, “The Anatomy of the Brain and Nerves (facsimile),” ourheritage.ac.nz | OUR Heritage, accessed November 21, 2019, http://otago.ourheritage.ac.nz/items/show/11015.
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