Mediæval texts on hemispheric specialization

Gert-Jan C. Lokhorst
Department of Philosophy, Erasmus University Rotterdam, The Netherlands

Two mediæval texts on hemispheric specialization have thus far come to light: (1) a passage in a codex from about 1100 according to which the left cerebral hemisphere is the seat of the intellect (intellectus) whereas the right hemisphere is concerned with sense perception (sensus); and (2) a drawing from about 1410 which states that the right side of the brain is hoot ande dry whereas the left side is colde ande dry. I will argue that these views have a similar origin and are products of the same style of reasoning.

Literature: Gert-Jan C. Lokhorst, The first theory about hemispheric specialization: Fresh light on an old codex, Journal of the History of Medicine and Allied Sciences 51 (1996), 293-312.

Poster Session I
Friday, 20 June 1997, 12.15 - 12.45

Second Annual Meeting of the International Society for the History of the Neurosciences (ISHN) and 6th Meeting of the European Club on the History of Neurology (ECHN)

Leiden, The Netherlands