[Revealing the structure of the nervous tissue I.: from Marcello Malpighi (1628-1694) to Christian Berres (1796-1844)].Cesk Fysiol. 2014; 63(1):4-18.CF
Efforts were already made in antiquity to understand the structure and function of the brain and nervous tissue, but an important impulse for the development of neuroanatomy as a field was the invention of the microscope at the beginning of the 17th century. A brief overview of the history of research of the brain and nerve structure from Marcello Malpighi to Christian Berres shows by what small steps and with what difficulties the investigation of the composition of the nervous tissue advanced. The study of historical sources reveals that despite constantly improving microscopic techniques, many prominent researchers obtained inaccurate data and, on the basis of such data, often reached erroneous conclusions. However, these observations and their interpretation and, in addition, the clashing opinions of scholars of that period greatly influenced the work of later researchers in the field of the microscopic structure and function of the nervous tissue.