chapter  3
6 Pages

Brief History of Neurolinguistics from the Beginnings to the 20th Century

First descriptions of language disorders date back to pharaonic medical texts recorded on papyrus, some 3000 years B.C. The outlines of the rst theory of brain and nervous system functions appeared in the rst centuries A.D. and were based on ideas originating in the last few centuries B.C. The so-called ventricular theory was based on uids and their ow, because the scientists of the day believed that something had to move in the brain in order for it to work. That “something” owed between the sensory and the effector organs and was called animal spirits. The theory held on until the 17th century and Descartes (15961650) incorporated it into his hydraulic theory. Some principles of ventricular theory (later also referred to as the medieval cell doctrine) have been kept in the more recent models of brain function developed within cognitive neuroscience (e.g., modular structure according to which the functions are localized in various regions of the brain).