Through the looking glass: Past futures of brain research

Cornelius Borck*

*Corresponding author for this work
3 Citations (Scopus)


The neurosciences seem to thrive on the constantly postponed promise to herald a definitive understanding of the human mind. What are the dynamics of this promise and its postponement? The long and fascinating history of the neurosciences offers ample material for looking into the articulation of neuroscientific research and contemporary culture. New tools and research methods, often announced as breakthroughs, brought along new representations of brain activity. In addition, they shaped the way of conceptualizing the brain's mode of operation even where they failed to meet the high expectations initially kindled. Rather than arriving at a definitive and final understanding of human nature by solving the riddle of the human brain, the neurosciences appear to operate as active interfaces mobilizing human societies to ever new research endeavors.

Original languageEnglish
JournalMedicine Studies
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)329-338
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 01.01.2009


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