Article ID: CBB948024614

Le radici lontane della neuroscienza delle reti. (2017)


Since the end of the last century, the study of the brain as a network of high connectivity has arisen in neuroscience. The purpose of this cerebral organization would be to contain the costs of neuronal development in terms of space, timing (in the transmission of information) and ‘material’ employed in the formation and maintenance of neurons and neuronal populations. This paper aims at investigating the sources of ideas that neuroscientists borrowed, inspired not only by evolutionary biology, but also by modern social theories, economic thinking and ancient and modern philosophy. In addition to the contribution of the founding fathers of late nineteenth-century neuro-anatomy and neurophysiology (Ramón y Cajal and Lorente de Nó), the topological work of eighteenth-century mathematicians (Leibniz, Eulero) and the mathematical economic theory (Pareto) provided concepts and methods to the theory of neural networks and to organizational criteria regulating the birth and growth of neural connections at cellular level. Finally, the concept of connectivity applied to the brain at rest refers to the philosophers, from the Stoics to William James, through Kant.

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Authors & Contributors
Bertucci, Paola
Borck, Cornelius
Pancaldi, Giuliano
Malabou, Catherine
Constable, Marianne
Davis, Whitney
Journal of the History of Medicine and Allied Sciences
Isis: International Review Devoted to the History of Science and Its Cultural Influences
British Journal for the History of Philosophy
Social Studies of Science
Nuncius: Annali di Storia della Scienza
Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences
University of Chicago Press
Alma Mater Studiorum, Università di Bologna
Oxford University Press
Wallstein Verlag
Polity Press
Neural networks in biology; nerve net
Marat, Jean Paul
Freud, Sigmund
Deleuze, Gilles
Descartes, René
Whytt, Robert
Jackson, John Hughlings
Great Britain
Latin America
20th century
19th century
21st century
18th century
Early modern
17th century
Jesuits (Society of Jesus)

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