Thursday, 14 January 2016

Rene Descartes Sets the Stage for Career of Teresa Susmaras

Teresa Susmaras practices in neuropsychology, which is new in neurological and psychological science.  Psychology itself, or the study of the human brain, has an ancient history.  As early as the Third Dynasty in Egypt, 3500BC, the priest and arguably the first scientific doctor in recorded history Imhotep, took a scientific approach to the understanding of the brain.  In Imhotep’s writings complex theories regarding trauma, abnormalities and remedies combine with detailed studies on the connection between the brain and the body.  Nonetheless, the brain was not regarded as an important part of bodily function, as men opted to approach medical studies from a religious point of view, blaming defects and anomalies on supernatural beings and evil spirits.

Hippocrates of the ancient Greeks regarded the brain as the house of the soul, being among the first to link the brain and behavior.  Shifting the focus of study from the heart to the brain awakened interest in the brain as the origin of behaviors, setting the stage for Teresa Susmaras’ profession today.   Hippocrates concept of mind was still seen as a phenomenon apart from the brain.  Much later, French scientist and philosopher Rene Descartes in the 1600’s expounded his theory of rationalism as knowledge emerging from reasoning, and felt the pineal gland deep inside the brain was the home of the soul.  Descartes felt the interaction of brain and body was mutual, a dualist point of view.  Descartes’s views slowly penetrated the scientific consciousness for years to come, and have affected thought and study in many arms of medicine.