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The ancient Egyptians of 5,000 years ago thought that the brain was important, but they believed that the heart, not the brain, was the source of consciousness.

It took a few thousand years for the Greek philosopher and scholar Hippocrates (from whom the Hippocratic oath to “first, do no harm” is derived) to suggest that the brain was indeed the seat of intelligence.

Supporting this view was Galen, a hugely important Roman physician and writer, who, as a physician to the gladiators, saw the unfortunate consequences of spinal and brain injuries.

The punctured skulls of gladiators. Perhaps the aftermath of some of these wounds were the impetus for considering the brain as the source of intelligence.

This directly observable connection between brain (or spine) damage and intellectual function went a long way in showing that the brain, and not the heart, was the source of human consciousness.

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