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The first known written record of a study of the anatomy of the human brain is the ancient Egyptian document the Edwin Smith Papyrus.
The next major development in neuroanatomy came from the Greek Alcmaeon, who determined that the brain and not the heart ruled the body and that the senses were dependent on the brain.
Again in this case, the situation is different for swimming, creeping or quadrupedal (prone) animals than for Man, or other erect species, due to the changed position of the axis.
A mid-sagittal plane divides the body and brain into left and right halves; sagittal sections in general are parallel to this median plane, moving along the medial-lateral dimension(see the image above).
Histochemistry uses knowledge about biochemical reaction properties of the chemical constituents of the brain (including notably enzymes) to apply selective methods of reaction to visualize where they occur in the brain and any functional or pathological changes.For several hundred years afterward, with the cultural taboo of dissection, no major progress occurred in neuroscience.However, Pope Sixtus IV effectively revitalized the study of neuroanatomy by altering the papal policy and allowing human dissection.In vertebrates, the nervous system is segregated into the internal structure of the brain and spinal cord (together called the central nervous system, or CNS) and the routes of the nerves that connect to the rest of the body (known as the peripheral nervous system, or PNS).The delineation of distinct structures and regions of the nervous system has been critical in investigating how it works.