Santiago Ramón y Cajal
Ramón y Cajal in 1899
Santiago Ramón y Cajal
1 May 1852
|Died||17 October 1934 82) (aged|
|Known for||Fathering modern neuroscience |
Discovery of the neuron
Interstitial cell of Cajal
|Awards||Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine (1906)|
Santiago Ramón y Cajal (Spanish: [sanˈtjaɣo raˈmon i kaˈxal] ; 1 May 1852 – 17 October 1934) was a Spanish neuroscientist, pathologist, and histologist specializing in neuroanatomy and the central nervous system. He and Camillo Golgi received the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1906. Ramón y Cajal was the first person of Spanish origin to win a scientific Nobel Prize. His original investigations of the microscopic structure of the brain made him a pioneer of modern neuroscience.
Hundreds of his drawings illustrating the arborizations ("tree growing") of brain cells are still in use, since the mid-20th century, for educational and training purposes.
Santiago Ramón y Cajal was born 1 May 1852 in the town of Petilla de Aragón, Navarre, Spain.As a child he was transferred many times from one school to another because of behavior that was declared poor, rebellious, and showing an anti-authoritarian attitude. An extreme example of his precociousness and rebelliousness at the age of eleven is his 1863 imprisonment for destroying his neighbor's yard gate with a homemade cannon. He was an keen painter, artist, and gymnast, but his father neither appreciated nor encouraged these abilities, even though these artistic talents would contribute to his success later in life. His father apprenticed him to a shoemaker and barber, to "try and give his son much-needed discipline and stability."
Over the summer of 1868, his father took him to graveyards to find human remains for anatomical study. Early sketches of bones moved him to pursue medical studies. 207 Ramón y Cajal attended the medical school of the University of Zaragoza, where his father worked as an anatomy teacher. He graduated in 1873, aged 21, and then served as a medical officer in the Spanish Army. He took part in an expedition to Cuba in 1874–75, where he contracted malaria and tuberculosis. To aid his recovery, Ramón y Cajal spent time in the spa-town Panticosa in the Pyrenees mountain range.[ citation needed ]:
After returning to Spain, he received his doctorate in medicine in Madrid in 1877. Two years later, he became the director of the Zaragoza Museum, and he married Silveria Fañanás García, with whom he had seven daughters and five sons. Ramón y Cajal worked at the University of Zaragoza until 1883, when he was awarded the position of anatomy professor of the University of Valencia. [ citation needed ]His early work at these two universities focused on the pathology of inflammation, the microbiology of cholera, and the structure of epithelial cells and tissues.
In 1887 Ramón y Cajal moved to Barcelona for a professorship.There he first learned about Golgi's method, a cell staining method which uses potassium dichromate and silver nitrate to (randomly) stain a few neurons a dark black color, while leaving the surrounding cells transparent. This method, which he improved, was central to his work, allowing him to turn his attention to the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord), in which neurons are so densely intertwined that standard microscopic inspection would be nearly impossible. During this period he made extensive detailed drawings of neural material, covering many species and most major regions of the brain.
In 1892, he became professor at Madrid. –translated as National Institute of Hygiene , and in 1922 founder of the Laboratorio de Investigaciones Biológicas– translated as the Laboratory of Biological Investigations , later renamed to the Instituto Cajal, or Cajal Institute.In 1899 he became director of the Instituto Nacional de Higiene
He died in Madrid on October 17, 1934, at the age of 82,continuing to work even on his deathbed.
In 1877, the 25-year-old Ramón y Cajal joined a Masonic lodge. 156 John Brande Trend wrote in 1965 that Ramón y Cajal "was a liberal in politics, an evolutionist in philosophy, an agnostic in religion".:
Nonetheless, Ramón y Cajal used the term soul "without any shame". 343 Ultimately, he became convinced of a belief in God as a creator, as stated during his first lecture before the Spanish Royal Academy of Sciences.He was said to later have regretted having left organized religion, :
Ramón y Cajal made several major contributions to neuroanatomy.He discovered the axonal growth cone, and demonstrated experimentally that the relationship between nerve cells was not continuous, or a single system as per then extant reticular theory, but rather contiguous; there were gaps between neurons. This provided definitive evidence for what Heinrich Waldeyer would name "neuron theory", now widely considered the foundation of modern neuroscience. He is also considered by some to be the first "neuroscientist" since in 1894 he stated to the Royal Society of London: “The ability of neurons to grow in an adult and their power to create new connections can explain learning.” This statement is considered to be the origin of the synaptic theory of memory.
He was an advocate of the existence of dendritic spines, although he did not recognize them as the site of contact from presynaptic cells. He was a proponent of polarization of nerve cell function and his student, Rafael Lorente de Nó, would continue this study of input-output systems into cable theory and some of the earliest circuit analysis of neural structures.
By producing excellent depictions of neural structures and their connectivity and providing detailed descriptions of cell types he discovered a new type of cell, which was subsequently named after him, the interstitial cell of Cajal (ICC).This cell is found interleaved among neurons embedded within the smooth muscles lining the gut, serving as the generator and pacemaker of the slow waves of contraction which move material along the gastrointestinal tract, mediating neurotransmission from motor neurons to smooth muscle cells.
In his 1894 Croonian Lecture, Ramón y Cajal suggested (in an extended metaphor) that cortical pyramidal cells may become more elaborate with time, as a tree grows and extends its branches.[ citation needed ]
He devoted a considerable amount of time studying French which he used to help his wife during labor and parapsychological phenomena.[ citation needed ] A book he had written on these topics was lost during the Spanish Civil War.[ citation needed ]
Ramón y Cajal received many prizes, distinctions, and societal memberships during his scientific career, including honorary doctorates in medicine from Cambridge University and Würzburg University and an honorary doctorate in philosophy from Clark University.The most famous distinction he was awarded was the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1906, together with the Italian scientist Camillo Golgi "in recognition of their work on the structure of the nervous system". This caused some controversy because Golgi, a staunch supporter of reticular theory, disagreed with Ramón y Cajal in his view of the neuron doctrine. Even before Ramón y Cajal's work, Norwegian scientist Fridtjof Nansen established the contiguous nature of nerve cells in his study of certain marine life, which Ramón y Cajal failed to cite.
The asteroid 117413 Ramonycajal has been named in his honor.
In 2014, the National Institutes of Health exhibited original Ramón y Cajal drawings in its Neuroscience Research Center.
Every year more than two hundred four-year postdoctoral fellowships by the Ministry of Science of Spain are awarded to middle career scholars from different fields of knowledge are called "Ayudas a contratos Ramon y Cajal" to honor his memory.
An exhibition called The Beautiful Brain: The Drawings of Santiago Ramón y Cajal travelled through the US beginning 2017 at the Weisman Art Museum in Minneapolis ending April 2019 at the Ackland Art Museum in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.
A short documentary by REDES is available on YouTube.Spanish public television channel RTVE screened a biopic series to commemorate his life in 2019.
He published more than 100 scientific works and articles in Spanish, French and German. Among his works were:
A list of his books includes:
In 1905, he published five science-fiction stories called "Vacation Stories" under the pen name "Dr. Bacteria". [ citation needed ]
Ramón y Cajal was a liberal in politics, an evolutionist in philosophy, an agnostic in religion...
In that sense, it was interesting to learn that Santiago Ramón y Cajal, the great pioneer of modern neuroanatomy, was agnostic, but still used the term soul without any shame.
Dendrites, also dendrons, are branched protoplasmic extensions of a nerve cell that propagate the electrochemical stimulation received from other neural cells to the cell body, or soma, of the neuron from which the dendrites project. Electrical stimulation is transmitted onto dendrites by upstream neurons via synapses which are located at various points throughout the dendritic tree. Dendrites play a critical role in integrating these synaptic inputs and in determining the extent to which action potentials are produced by the neuron. Dendritic arborization, also known as dendritic branching, is a multi-step biological process by which neurons form new dendritic trees and branches to create new synapses. The morphology of dendrites such as branch density and grouping patterns are highly correlated to the function of the neuron. Malformation of dendrites is also tightly correlated to impaired nervous system function. Some disorders that are associated with the malformation of dendrites are autism, depression, schizophrenia, Down syndrome and anxiety.
A neuron or nerve cell is an electrically excitable cell that communicates with other cells via specialized connections called synapses. It is the main component of nervous tissue in all animals except sponges and placozoa. Plants and fungi do not have nerve cells. The spelling neurone has become uncommon.
Neuroscience is the scientific study of the nervous system. It combines physiology, anatomy, molecular biology, developmental biology, cytology, mathematical modeling, and psychology to understand the fundamental and emergent properties of neurons and neural circuits. The understanding of the biological basis of learning, memory, behavior, perception, and consciousness has been described by Eric Kandel as the "ultimate challenge" of the biological sciences.
Cognitive neuroscience is the scientific field that is concerned with the study of the biological processes and aspects that underlie cognition, with a specific focus on the neural connections in the brain which are involved in mental processes. It addresses the questions of how cognitive activities are affected or controlled by neural circuits in the brain. Cognitive neuroscience is a branch of both neuroscience and psychology, overlapping with disciplines such as behavioral neuroscience, cognitive psychology, physiological psychology and affective neuroscience. Cognitive neuroscience relies upon theories in cognitive science coupled with evidence from neurobiology, and computational modeling.
Camillo Golgi was an Italian biologist and pathologist known for his works on the central nervous system. He studied medicine at the University of Pavia between 1860 and 1868 under the tutelage of Cesare Lombroso. Inspired by pathologist Giulio Bizzozero, he pursued research in the nervous system. His discovery of a staining technique called black reaction in 1873 was a major breakthrough in neuroscience. Several structures and phenomena in anatomy and physiology are named for him, including the Golgi apparatus, the Golgi tendon organ and the Golgi tendon reflex.
The Cajal Institute (IC) is a research center in neurobiology which belongs to the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC). The IC originates from the Laboratorio de Investigaciones Biológicas, founded in 1900 by order of King Alfonso XIII on the occasion of the Moscow Prize to Santiago Ramón y Cajal (1852–1934). Following Cajal's award of the Nobel Prize in Physiology and Medicine in 1906 and the 1907 creation of the Junta de Ampliación de Estudios, Cajal was appointed President of the Junta. A royal decree by king Alfonso XIII established the construction of a new building and the appointment of Cajal as its first director in 1920.
An electrical synapse is a mechanical and electrically conductive link between two neighboring neurons that is formed at a narrow gap between the pre- and postsynaptic neurons known as a gap junction. At gap junctions, such cells approach within about 3.8 nm of each other, a much shorter distance than the 20- to 40-nanometer distance that separates cells at chemical synapse. In many animals, electrical synapse-based systems co-exist with chemical synapses.
Golgi's method is a silver staining technique that is used to visualize nervous tissue under light microscopy. The method was discovered by Camillo Golgi, an Italian physician and scientist, who published the first picture made with the technique in 1873. It was initially named the black reaction by Golgi, but it became better known as the Golgi stain or later, Golgi method.
A neuroscientist is a scientist who has specialised knowledge in the field of neuroscience, the branch of biology that deals with the physiology, biochemistry, anatomy and molecular biology of neurons and neural circuits and especially their association with behaviour and learning.
Prof Magnus GustafRetzius FRSFor HFRSE MSA was a Swedish physician and anatomist who dedicated a large part of his life to researching the histology of the sense organs and nervous system.
The neuron doctrine is the concept that the nervous system is made up of discrete individual cells, a discovery due to decisive neuro-anatomical work of Santiago Ramón y Cajal and later presented by, among others, H. Waldeyer-Hartz. The term neuron was itself coined by Waldeyer as a way of identifying the cells in question. The neuron doctrine, as it became known, served to position neurons as special cases under the broader cell theory evolved some decades earlier. He appropriated the concept not from his own research but from the disparate observation of the histological work of Albert von Kölliker, Camillo Golgi, Franz Nissl, Santiago Ramón y Cajal, Auguste Forel and others.
Heinrich Wilhelm Gottfried von Waldeyer-Hartz was a German anatomist, known for summarizing neuron theory and for naming the chromosome. He is also remembered by anatomical structures of the human body which were named after him: Waldeyer's tonsillar ring and Waldeyer's glands.
From the ancient Egyptian mummifications to 18th-century scientific research on "globules" and neurons, there is evidence of neuroscience practice throughout the early periods of history. The early civilizations lacked adequate means to obtain knowledge about the human brain. Their assumptions about the inner workings of the mind, therefore, were not accurate. Early views on the function of the brain regarded it to be a form of "cranial stuffing" of sorts. In ancient Egypt, from the late Middle Kingdom onwards, in preparation for mummification, the brain was regularly removed, for it was the heart that was assumed to be the seat of intelligence. According to Herodotus, during the first step of mummification: "The most perfect practice is to extract as much of the brain as possible with an iron hook, and what the hook cannot reach is mixed with drugs." Over the next five thousand years, this view came to be reversed; the brain is now known to be the seat of intelligence, although colloquial variations of the former remain as in "memorizing something by heart".
Elio García-Austt (1919-2005) was born in Montevideo.
Luis Simarro Lacabra was a Spanish psychiatrist who was born in Rome while his parents were living in Italy.
Pío del Río Hortega was a Spanish neuroscientist who discovered microglia.
Reticular theory is an obsolete scientific theory in neurobiology that stated that everything in the nervous system, such as brain, is a single continuous network. The concept was postulated by a German anatomist Joseph von Gerlach in 1871, and was most popularised by the Nobel laureate Italian physician Camillo Golgi.
Cajal–Retzius cells are a heterogeneous population of morphologically and molecularly distinct reelin-producing cell types in the marginal zone/layer I of the developmental cerebral cortex and in the immature hippocampus of different species and at different times during embryogenesis and postnatal life.
Rafael Yuste is a Spanish-American neurobiologist and one of the initiators of the BRAIN Initiative announced in 2013.
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