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The Credit Goes to the Greek

October 20, 1985

In his otherwise satisfactory review of Jean-Pierre Changeux's "Neuronal Man" (Book Review, Oct. 6), Allan Tobin implies that Galen in the 2nd Century was the first medical man "to localize within the brain such faculties as the control of motor activity, sensation and thought." Credit for these discoveries actually belongs to a Greek doctor who lived seven centuries before Galen (and almost a century before Hippocrates): Alcmaeon of Crotona, the first doctor in Europe to use dissection as a research tool and to publish his findings. Unfortunately, his voice was subsequently drowned by Aristotle's advocacy of the heart as common sensorium and seat of intelligence.

C. J. WRIGHT

Venice

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