Neurophilosophy

The enchanted loom

Here’s a beautiful quote by the great neurophysiologist Sir Charles Sherrington (1857-1952), from his 1941 book Man on His Nature:

Swiftly the brain becomes an enchanted loom where millions of flashing shuttles weave a dissolving pattern, always a meaningful pattern though never an abiding one; a shifting harmony of sub-patterns.

Sherrington made a significant contribution to the discovery of the neuron, and coined the terms neuron and synapse. He was awarded the 1932 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine for his work.

Comments

  1. #1 Amiya Sarkar
    May 30, 2008

    The great poet Rabindranath Tagore also quoted a similar statement while attributing the brains’ ‘etching memory’ from visual cues.

    “It never was a faithful replica of what the eyes saw, but the brain put some pictures in front, some at the back and while completely omitting others. It wrote stories and not merely wrote histories. ”

    He won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1913. Please note that my translation of the poet’s words is far inferior than the original.

  2. #2 Roxanne
    December 21, 2009

    Human brain is really hard to understand. Our creator is so awesome.

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