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From Clouds to the Brain: The Movement of Electricity in Medical Science

ISBN: 9781786305954
ISBN: 9781786305954



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Based on research on the links between deep brain stimulation and its applications in the field of psychiatry, the history of techniques is of great importance in this book in order to understand the scope of the fields of application of electricity in brain sciences. The concepts of brain electricity, stimulation, measurement and therapy are further developed to identify lines of convergence, ruptures and conceptual perspectives for a materialistic understanding of human nature that emerged during the 18th century. In an epistemological posture, at the crossroads of the concepts of epistemes, as stated by Foucault, and phenomenotechnics, as conceived by Bachelard, the analyses focus on the technical content of the theories while inscribing them in the language and specificities of each era.

About the Author
Céline Cherici: Maître de conférence of epistemology and History of medical science, University Picardie Jules Verne, Department of philosophy.


Foreword vii

Introduction xiii

Chapter 1. The Birth of an Electrical Culture: From Frankenstein to Hyde 1

1.1. “Re”creating life? 2

1.2. Changing and regulating behavior 31

1.3. Possible electrical profiling? 45

Chapter 2. From Physics to Electrifying Physicists 49

2.1. Physics, knowledge of laws and nature of electricity 50

2.2. Medical physics: philosophical issues 65

2.3. Healing machines? 80

Chapter 3. Controversial Electricity Applications 91

3.1. Paralysis 92

3.2. Nervous disorders 100

3.3. Electricity: between the normal and the pathological 115

Chapter 4. Animal Electricity: Between Medicine and Physiology 125

4.1. Understanding life: heuristic experiments 125

4.2. Medical galvanism 143

4.3. Electrocentric life 154

Chapter 5. Between Electrotherapy Rooms and Laboratories: Specializing Electricity 169

5.1. Electrical therapies: emergencies and interventionism 170

5.1.1. Deceptive diseases 171

5.1.2. When treatment depends on techniques 180

5.1.3. Electricity: a diagnostic tool for mental illness? 197

5.2. Exploration and recording of nervous system activities 203

5.2.1. Electrophysiology: measuring and exploring from 1848 onwards 203

5.2.2. Stimulations on animal and human brains: localist perspectives 213

5.2.3. Brain electricity recordings and the electric alphabet 228

Chapter 6. Disorders and Resurgences of Electrical Neurostimulation Therapies: From Heath to Deep Brain Stimulation 239

6.1. Stimulation, control and improvement of moral and cognitive capacities 241

6.2. Deep brain stimulation and psychiatry 251

6.3. Man, brain and machine 265

Conclusion 271

Appendix 1 275

Appendix 2 281

References 289

Index of Names 325

Index of Terms 331