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September 1966

The Anatomy of the Brain and Nerves, (1681), 2 vol.

Arch Neurol. 1966;15(3):335. doi:10.1001/archneur.1966.00470150113017

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Thomas Willis, best known for the configuration of cerebral arteries which bears his name, published in 1664 his epoch-making Cerebri Anatome. To celebrate the 300th anniversary of this event, the McGill University Press has brought out a facsimile edition of the English translation, Anatomy of the Brain and Nerves, edited by Dr. William Feindel.

Fortunately, the great advances in publishing technology have made possible the reproduction of old books in a format that is a delight to the eye and hand. This edition, limited to 2,000 sets, is in two quarto volumes. The first contains introductory material, with essays on Willis, his book, his friends, his significance, and other topics. The second volume is the actual facsimile of the Anatomy of the Brain.

Willis was important in many different areas. He was a practicing physician, an anatomist, an experimentalist, a physiologist. As Feindel indicates, he presented the first approach to

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