The History of Brain Research in Early Renaissance Times |
The Beginnings of the Lobotomy and Neuroscience

In the year 1543, a Renaissance anatomist, Andreas Vesalius, publishes On the Workings of the Human Body. It contains illustrations on the workings of the brain and nerves. This is considered one of the first known neuroscience textbooks. 

He also discovered that the brains of many animals have the same ventricles as humans (Vesalius, 1543). He is followed by a French philosopher, Rene Descartes, who proposes that the brain functions like a machine. He viewed the mind as being separate from the brain (Descartes, 1649).

In 1664, a professor at Oxford, Thomas Willis, writes in his book about cerebral hemispheres and how they determined thought and action. Heintroduced the words “neurology, hemisphere, lobe and corpus straitum”. His work is influential to future neuroscientist to individualize brain parts (Willis, 1664).

Charles Darwin publishes his book, The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals in 1872. He traces the origins of emotional responses and facial expressions in human beings and animals (Darwin, 2002).

Wilhelm Wunmdt begins to study human behavior in 1875 and calls this philosophy psychology. He suggests that this study should be considered a scientific discipline to anatomy and physiology. He creates an institute that is the model for many psychological laboratories throughout Europe (Rieber, 2001).

Sigmund Freud publishes his groundbreaking book named The Interpretation of Dreams. In this book Freud discussed the unconscious mind which drives human Behavior (Freud, 1976).

Other famous moments in brain history include Alfred Binet’s measurement of intelligence by use of sensory discrimination (Magendie, 1978). Also, Hermann Rorschach, a Swiss psychiatrists develops a test using ink blots to determined personality traits by use of open-ended questions (Exner, 1993). 

Phineas Gage, a railroad worker, survived a massive head trauma when an iron rod pierced his brain at the frontal lobe during an explosion. He recovered, but records show that he had extreme mood and behavior changes.

This was an important discovery for neuroscience as it suggested that major personality parts resided in the frontal lobe. The findings from the Phineas Gage study lead to the development of the lobotomy(Mangiardi & Kane). 

This is where removal of  brain portions from the mentally ill was thought to cure depression and mental illness. However, this was taken to extremes and gave brain surgery research a stigma from which it has yet to recover.   


Human Brain Research History of Ancient Rome, Asia, & Middle Ages

Back to Page 1 of Human Brain Research History

Disclaimer: This website and its content is intended for trained licensed mental health professionals and school certified mental health professionals to use for their clients / students at their own discretion.

*If you ignore the disclaimer above are using these techniques on yourself and you feel any discomfort or upset it is highly suggested that you seek out a licensed  mental health professional immediately.

"Beyond Art Therapy" is the concept from Dr. Stangline that combines all creative fields in therapy. It is not the traditional "art therapy" but goes beyond to include sand tray therapy, play therapy, mindfulness, meditation, color therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, and a vast majority of other therapies.

For any other type of mental health emergency call your local 911 / Police Number immediately.

Dr. Stangline does not offer advice / suggestions to anyone who is not a professional mental health provider, or a student who is studying this field and has questions about mental health programs of study.

Share this page:
Enjoy this page? Please pay it forward. Here's how...

Would you prefer to share this page with others by linking to it?

  1. Click on the HTML link code below.
  2. Copy and paste it, adding a note of your own, into your blog, a Web page, forums, a blog comment, your Facebook account, or anywhere that someone would find this page valuable.

See our Exciting Selection of eBooks:

Award Winning:

Creative Counseling 101 eBook 
Our Best Seller!

Step By Step Therapy:

Learn how to be a more Creative Therapist with the Book that started it all!

- Graduate School Counseling book used by hundreds of graduate counseling students!

- Includes full color reproducible worksheets with most activities.

- Winner of the Counselor Writer of the Year Award, 2011, Georgia Regional Award

Download Your Copy Today Only $39.95: 

See Creative Counseling 101 eBook Information Here:

Get the Set
of all four  

eBooks for only $98.95:
An incredible collection of how to do therapy eBooks!
A $159.80 Value,
You Save Over $60!

Get your complete set of the Creative Counseling eBooks by Dr. Michelle Stangline for only $98.95, that's less than $25.00 per eBook (Regular Price is $39.95 for each eBook.).

Your complete set includes:

- Creative Counseling 101

- Creative Group Counseling 101

- Creative Play Therapy 101

- Creative Sand Tray 101

For more information click the link below:

See Complete Set of eBooks For Sale Here:

New!!! "Beyond Art Therapy" 101 eBook

Over 300 pages of Beyond Art Therapy activities and techniques. Learn what I teach graduate counseling students!

See the link below for more information.

Only $39.95

Art Therapy 101 eBook for Sale Link

See More Invividual eBooks For Sale:

Sand Tray Therapy 101 eBook:

Learn how to do Sand Tray Therapy or enhance your skills.

Sand Tray Therapy eBook for Sale Link

Play Therapy 101 eBook

Learn how to do play therapy or enhance your skills.

Play Therapy eBook For Sale Link

Small Group Counseling eBook For Sale:

Learn how to do creative group therapy and enhance your skills.

Creative Group Therapy eBook For Sale Link

School Counselor Guidance Lesson & Social Stories eBook for sale:

Get a year's worth of school counselor guidance lessons with "Creative Warm & Fuzzy Classroom Guidance Lessons eBook". Introduce your students to the "Warm & Fuzzy Way". Click the link below for more information:

Warm & Fuzzy School Counselor Guidance Lessons eBook