4. Nerve cells versus brain systems

It must already be apparent that, to an extraordinary degree, what one does in science is determined more by circumstances and chance than by guiding principles. This was certainly the case for me as I started life as a fully independent neuroscientist in St. Louis. Much of what I pursued depended on the colleagues in my new department and on the people who happened to cross my path. And this, in turn, depended on the organization of the faculty engaged in neuroscience at Washington University in 1973, which was fairly typical of American universities at the time.

Cuy Hunt’s Department of Physiology and Biophysics was in the medical school adjacent to Barnes Hospital in the city proper; the rest of the campus ...

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