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The worldwide expansion of the neurosciences: the 14th International Congress of Medicine (Madrid, 1903)
INTRODUCTION. The neurosciences developed at a swift pace throughout the 19th century. In Spain, following the intellectual poverty of the absolutist rule of King Ferdinand, medicine took on a new flourishing lease of life in the last third of the century under the leadership of its most distinguished proponent, Santiago Ramón y Cajal. In April 1903, and in spite of the country’s multiple political and social ups and downs, Madrid organised a great medical convention (14th International Congress of Medicine) that gathered together the foremost figures in the neurosciences. DEVELOPMENT. This work attempts to describe the situation in which neurology found itself at that time, as well as the socio-political context, and to highlight the most important contributions that were made in our specialty.
CONCLUSIONS. A whole medical generation from around the world enthusiastically took part and 1681 communications and papers were presented, many of which dealt with neurological topics. Special mention should be made of the presentations by Cajal, who described the histological structure of the optic thalamus, and by Pavlov, who gave details of his theory of conditioned reflexes for the very first time.
History of neurologyMadridNeuropathologyPavlovRamón y CajalNeurociencia básica