Quotes

Neurophilosophy

Category archives for Quotes

The stream of thought flows on

William James on consciousness and memory: The stream of thought flows on; but most of its segments fall into the bottomless abyss of oblivion. Of some, no memory survives the instant of their passage. Of others, it is confined to a few moments, hours or days. Others, again, leave vestiges which are indestructible, and by…

Butterflies of the soul

This quote comes from Recollections of My Life, by Santiago Ramon y Cajal: Like the entomologist in search of colorful butterflies, my attention has chased in the gardens of the grey matter cells with delicate and elegant shapes, the mysterious butterflies of the soul, whose beating of wings may one day reveal to us the…

Low hills and enfolded valleys

Here’s another great quote about the brain, from Ian McEwan’s novel Saturday: He’s looking down at a portion of [the] brain…with its low hills and enfolded valleys of the sulci, each with a name and imputed function…Just to the left of the midline, running laterally away out of sight under the bone, is the motor…

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…