History of Behavioral Neurology (2nd edition)

In Sergio Della Sala (ed.), Encyclopedia of Behavioral Neuroscience, Vol. 1. Elsevier. pp. 1–13 (2022)
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This chapter provides a brief overview of the history of behavioral neurology, dividing it roughly into six eras. In the ancient and classical eras, emphasis is placed on two transitions: firstly, from descriptions of head trauma and attempted neurosurgical treatments to the exploratory dissections during the Hellenistic period and the replacement of cardiocentrism; and secondly, to the more systematic investigations of Galenus and the rise of pneumatic ventricular theory. In the medieval through post-Renaissance eras, the scholastic consolidation of knowledge and the role of compendia are emphasized, along with the use of new methods from within a mechanistic framework. With the discovery of electrical conductance and the rise of experimentalism, we frame the modern era as period of intense debate over localization, decomposition, and other mechanistic principles, and marked by rapid discovery about the brain. The chapter ends with a discussion of the contemporary era, focusing on the establishment of behavioral neurology research on aphasia, apraxia, and neuropsychiatric conditions.

Author Profiles

Sergio Daniel Barberis
Universidad de Buenos Aires (UBA)
Cory Wright
California State University, Long Beach


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