Learn the History of the Human Brain Research Before You Ever Attempt Therapy on a Client!

As a therapist it is your ethical obligation to understand your client's brain. Start here with a brief history of human brain research.

The History of Brain Research

By Dr. Michelle Stangline 

Before one begins to look at the history of brain research, one must realize that the field of Neuroscience is a relatively young one. The Society of Neuroscience, the professional association of neuroscientists, was only founded in 1970.

Today, it is one of the largest organizations of scientists in the world. It has 25,000 members worldwide. What is neuroscience? It is a program of study that includes neuranatomy, neuroimaging,neurophychopharmacology, neurophysiology, neurobiology, and neuroendocrinology. 

Neuroscience looks at the brain and how it is structured, how it looks, functions and how human behavior works. A neurologist must have training in physics, calculus, biology, genetics, physiology, molecular biology, psychology, chemistry and research and design (Purves et al., 2004).  

Neuroscience is one of the fastest growing fields of study today. It studies only the human brain and how other sciences relate to the human brain. The 1990’s were declared “The Decade of the Brain” by President George H. Bush. We learned more about the brain in the 1990’s decade than we have ever learned before.

First, the discovery of the C.A.T. scan, then the M.R.I., and now the Brain SPECT scan has propelled us even further in the area of brain research. This research paper will uncover the reasons why psychiatrists, counselors and psychologists, (M.H.P.’s ), are resistant to current neuroscientific research and findings of the brain and how it relates to mental health disorders. 

Before we look at the present resistance to brain technology in the field of mental health, we need to go back a few thousand years to circa 5100 B.C.. Here we will examine early man’s resistance to the brain. The earliest record of brain surgery known today dates back to 5100 B.C. in Ensisheim, France. A skull was found at an archeological dig at this site.

It had evidence of that some type of brain surgery had been performed on the skull. Brain surgery is perhaps one of the oldest medical arts in the world due to the findings of ancient surgical instruments found at archaeological digs throughout the world.

Early effects of the poppy plant and the brain were found in Sumerian records as early as 4000 B.C.. In these records, an anonymous writer describes the euphoric mind-altering sensations brought about by ingesting the poppy plant (Brandt-Rauf, 1987).

It is suggested that brain surgery dates back to the Neolithic, late Stone period of man, possibly as early as the 7,000 B.C. period. Evidence of this is found in many cultures around the world from Pre-Incan to Africa  to Asia.

The word “brain” is first used in Africa with papyrus writings found in Egypt in 3,000 B.C.. Inordinate success of patients being restored to good health from “brain surgery” was noted in Paracas, Peru in 2,000 B.C. (Mangiardi, 2005).

Brain surgery was used mostly for magical and spiritual reasons. Priest, kings or noblemen were usually the surgeons. Tools for brain surgery were often made of bronze or volcanic rock. Surgery was thought to treat mental illness such as epilepsy, headaches, head injuries, osteomyelitis, or organics diseases ( Mangiardi, 2005).

Trepanized skulls have been found at many archeological digs. The amount of skulls found at many sites indicate that brain surgery was common place  around 3,000 B.C..

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

Back to Page 1 of Human Brain Research History

Ancient Greece and Ancient Egypt Human Brain Research
The History of Early Brain Surgery in Brain Research
The Amazing Human Brain Facts
The History of the Lobotomy and Electric Shock Therapy
The History of Brain Scans in Brain Research, Psychology, and Neurology Neurological Brain Scans

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.

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