The perpetual duel with external forces

To know the brain…is equivalent to ascertaining the material course of thought and will, to discovering the intimate history of life in its perpetual duel with external forces.

A quote from pioneering Spanish neuroscientist Santiago Ramon y Cajal. From his autobiography Recollections of My Life.


  1. Posted September 12, 2007 at 2:25 am | Permalink

    Great quote. A Spanish friend and neuroscientist just reminded of another one: “todo hombre puede ser, si se lo propone, escultor de su propio cerebro”. Usually translated as “Each man is the sculptor of his own brain”, a more precise translation would be “Each man can be, if he so determines, the sculptor of his own brain”.
    – “CAN be”
    – “if he so determines”…meaning both intention and action
    Vaughan: in my view, our daily thoughts and habits, meditation, cognitive therapy, and programs such as MindFit, are “sculpting” tools…no more no less than tools. Good for some goals and contexts, not for others. The context and goals of a kid are different from those of an adult.
    Btw, thanks for the very cool MRI videos!

  2. Posted September 12, 2007 at 4:44 am | Permalink

    Comments work again? Great. That Bin Laden joke was good.

Post a Comment

Required fields are marked *


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 26,897 other followers