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Inquiry: Charles Gross: A HOLE IN THE HEAD: MORE TALES IN THE HISTORY OF NEUROSCIENCE

Program: 
Date: 
Tuesday, April 20, 2010 - 10:52am

The oldest known surgical procedure that we have evidence for goes back to the Neolithic period. It was not setting a broken leg or repairing a flattened nose. It was cutting a three-inch hole in the skull using primitive stone tools! Yikes!!! Trepanation or trephination, was a known surgical practice to the Indians of Cuzco, the Ancient Greeks and was done in many European countries. It is still being done in certain cultures of Africa. The amazing thing is that most patients lived! Tonight on Inquiry we talk with DR. CHARLES M. GROSS, a neuroscientist specializing in vision and the functions of the cerebral cortex. His latest collection of interesting essays A HOLE IN THE HEAD: MORE TALES IN THE HISTORY OF NEUROSCIENCE reveals what is known about trephination and how it was done. Other essays in his book look at Dutch and Flemish art that show the infamous “The Stone of Folly”, Rembrandt’s paintings of anatomy lessons and whether in fact our brain can grow new neurons. Tune in tonight for a unique and far-ranging discussion of art, science and medicine.

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