Meandering memories

When I saw Camillo Gogli’s 1894 drawing of the principal cells of the hippocampus (top), I was immediately struck by how strongly they reminded me of some gorgeous images I’d encountered weeks before. The 1944 maps by Harold N. Fisk (bottom) trace the shifting course of the Mississippi River over time. Their curlicues evoke the winding curves of the hippocampus where memories are made in the brain.

I also find it worthy of notice that Golgi’s 1894 drawing is so similar to a photomicrograph of the hippocampus made in 2005 by Tamily Weissman, Jeff Lichtman, and Joshua Sanes. Those images are 111 years apart. It’s easy to recognize that one is the ancestor of the other.