Cajal's hypothetical mapping of the neurological forest through histology drawings
One of the most significant steps taken to further the intimacy between medicine and art
was taken by Santiago Ramón y Cajal, who was subsequently regarded as the father of
modern neuroscience. In the late 19th century, Cajal started to draw neural tissues, and
neurons in detail. As paradoxical as it may seem, the aesthetic quality of his drawings
was so substantial that, in principle, they were not taken seriously by most of Cajal’s
professional colleagues. However, they were eventually proven wrong, and today Cajal’s
sketches are known for their brilliant clarity and accuracy. Indeed, in this article I
provide a brief account of the scientific, aesthetic and even ethical relevance of Cajal’s
work, which ended up holding pride of place in the history of medicine.
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De Felipe J. Santiago Ramón y Cajal. In: Wilson RA and Keil FC, editors. The MIT Encyclopedia of the Cognitive Sciences. Cambridge: The MIT Press; 2001. P. 98-9.
López-Muñoz F, Boya J, Alamo C. Neuron theory, the cornerstone of neuroscience, on the centenary of the Nobel Prize award to Santiago Ramón y Cajal. Brain Res Bull. 2006;70:391-405.
Cajal SR. Advice for a Young Investigator. Cambridge: The MIT Press; 1999.
Sampedro J. El arte de Cajal para explicar la ciencia. El País [Internet]. 2017 Mar 23 [Cited 2017 May 10] Available from http://elpais.com/elpais/2017/03/22/ciencia/1490185166_393185.html?rel=mas
Copyright (c) 2017 José María Ariso
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