A. García-Molina Neurosciences and History 2015;3(2):61-67
Type of article: ORIGINAL
A. García-Molina1,2,3 1Institut Guttmann, Institut Universitari de Neurorehabilitació (UAB), Badalona, Spain. 2Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Bellaterra, Spain. 3Fundació Institut d’Investigació en Ciències de la Salut Germans Trias i Pujol, Badalona, Spain.
The functional organisation of the brain has been studied for many years. Gall was the first to do so, and subsequently, Flourens, Broca, Goltz, Kleist, Lashley, and many other researchers each attempted to tackle this complex problem. In Spain, Justo Gonzalo Rodríguez-Leal (1910-1986) proposed an innovative theory of the functional structure of the cerebral cortex. He presented and developed this theory in his book Investigaciones sobre la nueva dinámica cerebral. La actividad cerebral en función de las condiciones dinámicas de la excitabilidad nerviosa. This exceptional theory did not meet with the response it deserved, and his treatise was overlooked for many years. In 1939, Justo Gonzalo identified what he named 'dynamic action phenomena', the starting point for his theory on cerebral dynamics. This discovery was followed by his two principles of cerebral dynamics: the impact of the brain lesion according to its magnitude and position (1941), and sensory organization according to spiral development (1947). At a later date, in the 1950s, he would develop the concepts of cerebral gradient, similarity, and allometry. This article aims to summarise the research carried out by this forgotten scholar of the human cerebral cortex and its functional organisation.