Free Shipping on Orders of $40 or More
Cajal's Neuronal Forest: Science and Art

Cajal's Neuronal Forest: Science and Art

by Javier DeFelipe Javier DeFelipe
Pub. Date:
Oxford University Press
Pub. Date:
Oxford University Press
Cajal's Neuronal Forest: Science and Art

Cajal's Neuronal Forest: Science and Art

by Javier DeFelipe Javier DeFelipe
Current price is , Original price is $94.0. You

Temporarily Out of Stock Online

Please check back later for updated availability.


Cajal's Neuronal Forest: Science and Art continues the tradition set forth by its sister volume Cajal's Butterflies of the Soul (OUP, 2009). This new collection contains hundreds of beautiful rarely-seen-before figures produced throughout the nineteenth century and the beginning of the twentieth century by famed father-of-modern-neuroscience Santiago Ramón y Cajal (1852-1934) and his contemporaries. Cajal was captivated by the beautiful shapes of the cells of the nervous system. He and his fellow scientists saw neurons as trees and glial cells as bushes. Given their high density and arrangement, neurons and glial resembled a thick forest, a seemingly impenetrable terrain of interacting cells mediating cognition and behavior. In unraveling the mysteries of the brain, these researchers encountered an almost infinite number of cellular forms with an extraordinary beauty, which they could not help but put pen to paper, allowing them to discover a new artistic world- the neuronal forest- that gave free rein not only to their imagination, but to a new way of viewing the brain as well.

This book has been divided into two parts. The first focuses on the scientific atmosphere in Cajal's times, on the history of the neuron, and the anatomical challenge posed in studying neuronal connections. It also delves into the artistic skills of Cajal and other important pioneers in neuroscience and how the neuronal forests have served as an unlimited source of artistic inspiration. The second consists of 275 original drawings by Cajal. All were published over the course of his scientific career and cover virtually all of his research fields of interest, including the spinal cord, the optic lobe and retina, cerebral cortex, and many other regions of the brain.

Cajal's Neuronal Forest: Science and Art is a testament to the natural beauty found in science. Despite the common misconception that the drawings of Cajal and other scientists of the time are pieces of art, these drawings are in fact copies of histological preparations and contributed greatly to the discoveries made in the field of neuroscience. This book is a gem in any library, whether serving as a medical history or a gallery of stunning sketches.

Related collections and offers

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780190842833
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Publication date: 11/29/2017
Pages: 512
Product dimensions: 9.10(w) x 11.10(h) x 1.40(d)

About the Author

Javier DeFelipe is a Research Professor at the Instituto Cajal (CSIC), Madrid, Spain. His main area of expertise lies in the microanatomy of the cerebral cortex. The frequent citation of his work in the scientific literature reflects the variety and excellence of his numerous contributions. Prof. DeFelipe is also fascinated by the link between the study of the brain and art and has been involved in organizing and curating numerous exhibitions around the world. He has written several articles, chapters and books on both this subject and the influence of Santiago Ramón y Cajal in modern neuroscience.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents
Foreword Ramon Areces Foundation
Foreword Spanish Foundation to Science and Technology
Foreword Tatiana Perez De Guzman El Bueno Foundation
Foreword by Pasko Rakic

Part I: Introduction
Introductory Remarks
A Note on Microphotography and Illustrations of Histological Preparations
The Anatomical Challenge of the Study of Neuronal Connections

Section A: The Scientific Atmosphere in Cajal's Times
The Discovery of the Reazione Nera: Commencing the Detailed Study of the Structure of the Nervous System
The Discovery of the Golgi Method by Cajal and the Influence of Maestre De San Juan and Simarro
Drawing as a Tool to Illustrate Microscopic Images
Differences in the Interpretation of the Microscopic World
Neuron Doctrine versus the Reticular Theory
The Reticular Theory and Precursors of the Neuron Theory
Golgi, Cajal and the Nobel Prize Lectures in 1906
The Law of Dynamic Polarization of Nerve Cells
Introduction of the Term "Neuron" and the Renascence of Reticularism
Confirmation of the Free Ending of the Nervous Processes: The Discovery of the Synaptic Cleft
Neoreticularism and the Neuron Doctrine in the Present Day
Dendritic Spines: True Anatomical Structures versus Artifact
Dendritic Spines and the Methylene Blue Method
Other Interpretations of the Dendritic Spines
Dendritic Spines and Cajal's 'Final Lesson'
Confirmation that Dendritic Spines are Postsynaptic Structures
Combination of the Golgi Method and Electron Microscopy
Dendritic Spines: Their Features and Role as a Key Component in Microcircuits

Section B: The Golden Era for Artistic Creativity in Neuroscience
Artistic Skills and Emotions of Cajal and Other Early Neuroanatomists
Verification of the Drawings of Cajal and Other Scientists
The Neuronal Forest as a Source of Artistic Inspiration
Summary, Final Considerations and Concluding Remarks


Part II: Gallery of Cajal's Drawings
Section A: Spinal Cord
Section B: Medulla Oblongata
Section C: Cerebellum and Deep Cerebellar Nuclei
Section D: Midbrain and Thalamus
Section E: Optic Lobe of Lower Vertebrates
Section F: Retina of Vertebrates
Section G: Cerebral Cortex and Olfactory Apparatus
Section H: Degeneration and Regeneration of the Nervous System
Section I: Retina and Optic Centers of Cephalopods
Section J: Insect Brain: Visual System
Section K: Supplementary Figures

Author Index

Customer Reviews