Classic Model of the Human Brain Stem
This large papier mâché of the human brainstem, a classic model (from Greek “Klastos”, i.e. can be taken apart into separate pieces) that includes the thalamus and upper spinal cord, was made around 1890. Several numbers glued on small pieces of paper are found on the model. There were likely used to label and study parts of the brain that were discernible to physicians in the nineteenth century. The model was designed by the famous Frenchman Louis Thomas Jérôme Auzoux. It was used by the Harvard Psychology Department for the teaching and study of the physiological basis of sensory response. It was listed in Munsterberg’s 1893 Psychological Laboratory of Harvard University document as “Number 10. Large clastic model of cerebellum and spinal cord. By Auzoux, Paris. $25.” As Munsterberg’s laboratory was extremely hands-on and focused on studying human responses and perception during psychological testing, his team of scientists likely used the model to localize these sensory attributes in the brain.
Collection of Historical Scientific Instruments (WJ0663)–1890 (Image brain)