Depiction of the neuroscientific principles of human motion 2 millennia ago by Lucretius

Department of Physiology, Anatomy & Genetics, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK.
Neurology (Impact Factor: 8.29). 09/2011; 77(10):1000-4. DOI: 10.1212/WNL.0b013e31822cfa34
Source: PubMed


Titus Lucretius Carus was an ancient Roman philosopher of the Epicurean school whose epic poem On the Nature of Things described numerous aspects of the natural world. In fact, much contemporary scientific understanding is consistent with or inspired by his work. Among Lucretius's contributions to neurology were his descriptions of epileptic seizures, sleep, and his theory of vision. This report identifies how Lucretius's description of human motion recognized the fundamental principles understood by contemporary neurologists and neuroscientists, namely the importance of the mind and intelligence in determining whether to move, in the initiation of motion and its effect on the rest of the body; the importance of mental imagery and perception of the motor task's nature and workload in addition to the necessary systemic changes occurring in parallel with the muscle activity. Lucretius was the first commentator to introduce into Epicurean poetry the concept of such a mechanism consisting of a logical order of processes which are still consistent with modern concepts.

4 Reads
  • Neurology 09/2011; 77(10):1003. DOI:10.1212/WNL.0b013e31822cfcc6 · 8.29 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Neurosurgery can alter cardiorespiratory performance via central networks and includes deep brain stimulation (DBS), a routinely employed therapy for movement disorders and chronic pain syndromes. We review the established cardiovascular effects of DBS and the presumed mechanism by which they are produced via the central autonomic network. We then review the respiratory effects of DBS, including modulation of respiratory rate and lung function indices, and the mechanisms via which these may occur. We conclude by highlighting the potential future therapeutic applications of DBS for intractable airway diseases.
    Progress in brain research 12/2014; 209:341-66. DOI:10.1016/B978-0-444-63274-6.00018-7 · 2.83 Impact Factor