Article ID: CBB001221623

The Emergence of Nervennahrung: Nerves, Mind and Metabolism in the Long Eighteenth Century (2012)


Stahnisch, Frank W. (Author)

Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences
Volume: 43
Pages: 405--417

Publication Date: 2012
Edition Details: Part of a special section: “Assimilating Knowledge---Food and Nutrition in Early Modern Physiologies”
Language: English

Morphological assumptions concerning the form, structure and internal life of the brain and nervous system profoundly influenced contemporary physiological concepts about nerve actions throughout the `long eighteenth century'. This article investigates some early theories of mind and metabolism. In a bottom-up fashion, it asks how eighteenth-century theories regarding the physiological actions of the body organs shaped the conceptions of the structure of the brain and nervous tissue themselves. These proposed that a healthy Nervennahrung (the German word for `nerve nutrition', which might be rendered as brain food in modern English), not only guaranteed the integrity and stability of neuronal structures in the body, but also explained the complex texture of the brain and spinal cord in physiological terms. Eighteenth-century nerve theories already embodied a Leitmotiv of neurology and brain psychiatry from the later nineteenth century: `Without phosphorus there is no thought!'

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Article Orland, Barbara; Spary, E. C. (2012) Introduction. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences (p. 317). unapi

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Authors & Contributors
Macmillan, Malcolm
Smith, Roger C.
Gross, Charles G.
Zimmer, Carl
Martensen, Robert Lawrence
Andrieu, Bernard
Journal of the History of the Neurosciences
British Journal for the History of Science
History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences
Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences
História, Ciências, Saúde---Manguinhos
Physis: Rivista Internazionale di Storia della Scienza
Oxford University Press
MIT Press
Free Press
Academic Press
University of Chicago Press
Massachusetts Institute of Technology, MIT
Human physiology
Gage, Phineas
Sherrington, Charles Scott
Willis, Thomas
Goldstein, Kurt
Malpighi, Marcello
Borelli, Giovanni Alfonso
Time Periods
20th century
17th century
21st century
19th century
20th century, late
Paris (France)
Mediterranean region
Rockefeller Foundation

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