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The Human Brain The human brain is physiologically a gland. T

The human brain is physiologically a gland. This gland produces hormones, has hormone receptors, and controls virtually every activity of the human body. But the brain is more than a physiological organ. In the brain, the complex functions which make humans "human" take place, advanced thoughts, behaviors, activities, and most of all conjecture and imagination are conceived, perceived, evaluated, and sometimes acted upon.

Moreover, in the study of the brain, the disciplines of philosophy, medicine, psychology, and scientific research have moved back into time to reevaluate the position regarding the brain taken over 2,000 years ago by such names as Plato, Aristotle, and Galen (Bergland, 1985). In purely pragmatic terms, then, the human brain may be described as an oversized pinkishgray walnut. In adults it usually weighs less than three pounds, but has been called "the most complex piece of matter in the universe" (Ferguson, 1973, p.17). Research continues into the manner by which cellular functions are translated into human behavior.

This paper will be divided into seven major sections which will address the historical manner in which the brain has been viewed, particularly in the subject of what is now known as psychology. It will begin with an overview of the manner in which the brain was perceived in ancient times, move into the Medieval and Renaissance areas, and look at the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. The concluding section will give an overview of some of the discoveries in the twentieth century, look at some of the contemporary research on the brain, and will address some of the broader, psychological issues present in the subject matter.

Evolutionarily, the human brain has developed from the lower primates, through the hominid line, to that of Homo Sapiens Sapiens, modern man. Brain size is often purported to be of primary importance, however, most research centered in human evolution...

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