First brain experiments


Pierre Flourens pioneers experiment ablation

1820 - 1867

Ablation: Destroying, disabling or removing parts of the brain to observe the effects on behaviour
Flourens experimented mainly on rabbits and pigeons - some of the first animal testing in brain technonolgy.

Gustav Fritsch & Eduard Hitzig discover the motor cortex

1870 - 1919

As well as successful ESB their experiments demonstrated contralateral function of limb movement. This voluntary action by the brain is now known as the motor cortex.

Karl Lashley's search for the location of learning and memory

1920 - 1958

Used ablation to search for the location of learning and memory. He tried to produce amnesia. He failed to produce amnesia and he concluded that memory and learning was located throughout the whole brain.

Wilder Penfield maps the cerebral cortex

1940 - 1970

Under local anesatisa he surgically removed areas of the brain that were causing epileptic seizures. He avoided damaging normally functioning area's of the cortex, then he would stimulate the area with a electrode and then ask the patients to report their experiences.

Neuroimaging Techniques

1970 - 2018

Computorised tomography (CT), Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), Positron emission tomography (PET), Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI).

Split Brain Experiments

1981 - 1994

This involves cutting the band of the nerve tissue connecting the two hemispheres. Performed to reduce the incidence and severity of epileptic seizures.