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Image galleries

  • Measuring-Classifying


    Scientists have long explored the theory that mental capacities – such as speech, vision and even morality – reside in specific areas of the brain. During the late 18th and 19th centuries, the 'quack' science of phrenology attempted to map an individual's character by the contours of his or her cranium, while anthropometry (the comparative measurement of human populations) was concerned with the relative size of skulls and brains as an indicator of intelligence.

  • Mapping-Modelling


    Throughout the ages, scientists and medical artists have worked together to achieve greater accuracy and understanding of the brain in graphic depictions and three-dimensional representations. As the real brain is notoriously difficult to preserve, these images and models have provided vital teaching aids and still play an important part in training doctors, while powerful scanning and microscope technologies allow scientists an ever more detailed picture of the brain's structure.

  • Cutting-Treating


    Since prehistoric times, humans have attempted to intervene beneath the skull to relieve ailments or, some believed, to release evil spirits from the head. Some of the instruments and techniques for accessing the brain through its protective layers of skin, bone and membranes remain fundamentally similar to this day. However, modern developments in imaging technology have enabled neurosurgeons to identify the source of the problem while minimising collateral damage.

  • Giving-Taking


    The collecting of specimens has been as important to brain science as to other branches of natural history, anatomy and pathology. Biologists sought the brains of humans and other species for comparative study but often failed to seek the prior consent of donors or their families. Now, in the context of an ageing society, scientists are encouraging members of the public to pledge their remains to brain banks in the search for cures to crippling neurodegenerative diseases.

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