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Leonardo da Vinci (Vinci 1452-Amboise 1519)

Recto: The skull sectioned. Verso: The cranium 1489

RCIN 919057

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In April 1489 Leonardo sawed open a human skull to study its internal structure, hoping to investigate the pathways of the sensory nerves and the workings of the brain. He believed that the sensory nerves must converge at a single point, which would be the centre of human experience and thus the site of the soul. He placed this exactly half way from top to bottom of the skull, and a third of the way from front to back.