Alcmaeon of Croton, a natural philosopher in 450 BC, concluded, based on his animal dissections, that the brain, not the heart, is the central organ of sensation and thought. However, a couple of centuries later, someone then articulated the idea that the seat of mental function resides in the ventricles of the brain – cavities filled with cerebrospinal fluid. Galen, the famous physician at the Roman Imperial Court in 170 BC, popularized this idea further in his extensive writings that were eagerly read throughout the dark Middle Ages.

The great Renaissance artist Leonardo da Vinci still held on to this ancient belief that the senso commune (sense of community), phantasy and imagination originated in the anterior ventricle; that the middle ventricle served cognition; and that memory was contained in the posterior ventricle.
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