Architecture of the Brain (1896) ebook by William Fuller

The architecture of the Brain

The architecture of the Brain

In the following description of the Central Nervous System it is not intended to rehearse minute details which can be found in the many excellent works upon anatomy, but to place in view in as clear and concise a manner as possible the general architecture of the central nervous system, and to trace the relation and continuity of its parts. 

When a general knowledge of the structure of the brain is acquired by the student a useful and practical step is gained, because he will not only be able to describe the situation of a lesion and understand the descriptions made by others, but he will be in a situation to intelligently discuss the functions of its parts and is prepared to work in the field of discovery. 

The incidental assignment of function to any part of the nervous system in these pages is intended to assist the memory and awaken inquiry. Nothing stimulates the observation to the same extent as the entertainment of a theory, to be demonstrated or corrected by careful observation of facts that fall under one's own notice, or by those which can be obtained from other reliable sources. 

The following description has been made from dissections by the author and has been carefully verified by a comparison of longitudinal and lateral dissections, and by sections, all of which agree in proving the correctness of the representations herein described. These dissections have been permanently recorded by castings in plaster, and the sections have been photographed and plates made so that both the casts and the plates can be repeated at pleasure, thus enabling any who may take an interest in the anatomy of the brain to acquire a knowledge of it with ease. A cast is much superior to a picture since it represents correctly the size, relation, and direction of the parts in a much plainer manner than can be done by a plate. 

The plates introduced for illustration are drawn from the casts of dissections and refer to them. In order to bring the means of acquiring a knowledge of this important department of medical science within the reach of all, an Anatomical Company has been formed to reproduce the casts and plates at a very moderate price. The Central Nervous System, or the Cerebro-Spinal axis, is contained in the cavity of the cranium and spinal canal. 

This cavity is lined by a tough fibrous membrane, the dura mater, which is closely adherent to the inner surfaces of the bones of the skull, especially at the sutures, base, and the margin of the foramen magnum, but is loosely attached by fibrous tissue to the bones forming the spinal canal. Its internal surface is smooth, covered by a serous surface which is the outer wall of the arachnoid cavity, and it is perforated by numerous openings corresponding to the foramina of its bony enclosure. 

These openings are for the transmission of nerves and blood vessels, and the membrane is prolonged outwards, to be continuous with their sheaths the periosteum of the skull. As an instance, the dura mater forms a sheath for the optic nerve, expands to form a sclerotic coat of the eyeball, and lines the walls of the orbit. The dura mater contains between its layers the meningeal arteries and channels for the conveyance of venous blood, called sinuses. The falx cerebri and the tentorum cerebelli are projections of the dura mater extending into the fissures of the brain, respectively between the hemispheres of the cerebrum and between the occipital lobes and the cerebellum. The use of these processes is to sustain the parts of the brain in their proper position.
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