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Paradigm shifts and innovations in Neuroscience

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Front. Behav. Neurosci. | doi: 10.3389/fnbeh.2019.00082

Why Study the History of Neuroscience?

  • 1Dalhousie University, Canada

History is the memory of a discipline and the memory of the past depends on the study of the present traces of the past; the things left behind: artifacts, equipment, written documents, data books, photographs, memoirs, etc. History is an integral part of neuroscience. Each time we talk about the brain, do an experiment, or write a research paper, we are involved in history. Each published experiment is a historical document; it relies on past research (the introduction), procedures developed in the past (methods) and as soon as new data are published, they become history, and become embedded into the history of the discipline (discussion). In order to be transparent and to be replicated, each experiment requires its own historical archive. Studying history means researching books, documents and objects in libraries, archives, and museum; looking at data books, letters and memos, talking to scientists, and reading biographies and autobiographies. History can be made relevant by integrating historical documents into classes and by using historical websites. Finally, doing historical research can be interesting, entertaining, and lead to travel to exotic places and meeting interesting people.

Keywords: History, Neuroscience, Libraries, Archives, Museums

Received: 28 Nov 2018; Accepted: 05 Apr 2019.

Edited by:

Chrystalina A. Antoniades, Nuffield Department of Clinical Neurosciences, Medical Sciences Division, University of Oxford, United Kingdom

Reviewed by:

Joshua C. Brumberg, Queens College (CUNY), United States
Lazaros C. Triarhou, University of Macedonia, Greece  

Copyright: © 2019 Brown. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Dr. Richard E. Brown, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Canada, rebrown@dal.ca