Rhinencephalon, Tabes dorsalis and Elpenor's Syndrome : The Fascinating Stories Behind These and Other Neuroscience Terms book cover
1st Edition

Rhinencephalon, Tabes dorsalis and Elpenor's Syndrome
The Fascinating Stories Behind These and Other Neuroscience Terms

ISBN 9780367646516
Published February 24, 2022 by Routledge
188 Pages

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Book Description

This book is a fascinating collection of various neuroscience terms coined over the last centuries. Each of the 45 chapters in this book dives deep into the etymologies, vernacular subtleties and historical anecdotes relating to these terms.

The book illustrates the rich and diverse history of neuroscience, which has borrowed and continues to borrow terms and concepts from across cultures, literature and languages. The ever-increasing number of terms that needed to be coined with the mushrooming of the field required neuroscientists to show astonishing imagination and creativity, leading them to draw inspiration from Graeco-Roman mythology (Elpenor’s syndrome), literature (Lasthenie de Ferjol’s syndrome), theatre (Ondine’s curse), Japanese folklore (Kanashibari), and even the Bible (Matthew effect). This book will of be immense interest to scholars and researchers studying neuroscience, history of science, anatomy, psychology and linguistics. It will also appeal to any reader interested in learning more about neuroscience and its history.

All the chapters included in this book were originally published in a column that appeared from 1997 to 2020 in the Journal of the History of the Neurosciences.

Table of Contents

  1. Rhinencephalon: A Brain for the Nose?
  2. Fornix and Gyrus fornicates: Carnal Sins?
  3. Cerebral Mythology: A Skull Stuffed With Gods
  4. The Three Musketeers and the Twelve Cranial Nerves
  5. Just What is the Inferior Cerebellar Peduncle?
  6. Vague, Uncertain, Ambiguous, Obscure: Imprecision or Modesty?
  7. Vater, Pacini, Wagner, Meissner, Golgi, Mazzoni, Ruffini, Merkel and Krause: Were their nerves all on edge?
  8. The Subfornical and Subcommissural Organs: Never-Ending Rediscoveries
  9. Arachnophobia: Spiders and Spider’s Webs in the Head
  10. Claustrum: A Sea Wall Between the Island and the Shell?
  11. Phantom Limb: Haunted Body?
  12. Lasthénie de Ferjol’s Syndrome: A Tribute Paid by Jean Bernard to Jules Amédée Barbey d’Aurevilly
  13. Ansa Hypoglossi or Ansa Cervicalis: That is the Question…
  14. Reissner’s Fibre: The Exception Which Proves the Rule, or the Devil According to Charles Baudelaire?
  15. If there are "Deep" Cerebellar Nuclei, Where are the "Superficial" Ones?
  16. "James Parkinson did not die of his own personal disease… he died of a stroke" Eponyms: Possessive or Nonpossessive?
  17. Give a Kiss to a Frog and it Will Turn into… A Neuropeptide: The Genealogy of the Bombesin-Like Family
  18. Nomenclature of Persistent Carotid Vertebrobasilar Anastomoses
  19. Interthalamic Adhesion: Scruples About Calling a Spade a Spade?
  20. Herophilus’ Press, Torcular and Confluens Sinuum: A Triple Mistake
  21. From Dante Alighieri’s First Circle to Paul Donald MacLean’s Limbic System
  22. Elpenor’s Syndrome: The Link Between One of Ulysses’ Companions and the Tenth President of the Third French Republic
  23. Munchausen Syndrome By Proxy: Karl Friedrich Hieronymus, Baron von Münchhausen, Hasn’t Got Anything To Do With It
  24. Oedipus Complex: A Confession to a Berlin Otorhinolaryngologist that Became a Cornerstone of Psychoanalysis
  25. The Brain in its Birthday Suit: No More Reason to be Ashamed
  26. The Pen Nib and the Bolt: The Rhomboid Fossa of the Fourth Ventricle or the Symbol of the Censorship of the Press?
  27. A Concert Hall for Stringed Musical Instruments Under the Splenium of the Corpus Callosum
  28. The Cerebellum the Earthworm and the Freshwater Crayfish: An Unpublished Fable of Jean de La Fontaine?
  29. Korbinian Brodmann: The Victor Hugo of Cytoarchitectonic Brain Maps
  30. Brain Heraldic Tinctures and Evolution Theory: A Sensational Turn of Events That Should Have Been Kept Secret
  31. Renfield’s Syndrome: A Psychiatric Illness drawn From Bram Stoker’s Dracula
  32. "Matthew Effect" in Neurosciences
  33. Is Poetry a Disease of the Brain, as Alfred de Vigny Said?
  34. Between André Du Laurens’ Horst Tail and William Cadogan’s Pony Tail
  35. Kanashibari (金縛り): A Ghost’s Business
  36. "Magic Mirror in my Hand, Who is the Fairest in the Land… and, Incidentally, Are You Transparent or Shining?"
  37. Trigeminal Neuralgia: Pleonasm and Miscalculation
  38. Hallervorden-Spatz Disease: Did One Set the Fox to Mind the Geese?
  39. The sleeping brain: Extenuating circumstances of the Marquis de La Fayette on October 6, 1789
  40. The devil always experienced malicious pleasure in imposing himself in neuropsychiatric nosology
  41. Tabes dorsalis: Not, at all, "Elementary my dear Watson!"
  42. Ondine’s curse: With Jean Giraudoux’s finishing touches
  43. Moyamoya (もやもや): When cerebral arteries go up in smoke
  44. Migraine: Between headache, pomegranate, seed of cochineal, and unidentified fish

  45.   Phrenology: Scheherazade of etymology

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Régis Olry, MD, MSC (France), is Professor of Anatomy at the University of Québec, Trois-Rivières, Canada, and has previously held faculty positions in Germany (Heidelberg and Marburg). He has published numerous articles and three books on the history of anatomical terminology, and has received awards for university teaching and his articles on the origins of words and phrases in the neurosciences.

Duane E. Haines, PhD, has held faculty positions at Wake Forest, Mississippi, West Virginia (Professor and Chairman), and at Medical College of Virginia. He is the author of numerous scientific papers and 15 books, including a brain atlas and a neuroscience text. He has held offices in scientific organizations and participated in the writing of Nomina Anatomica.