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On the Cerebral Gland Resembling a Pine Nut 

On the Cerebral Gland Resembling a Pine Nut
Chapter:
On the Cerebral Gland Resembling a Pine Nut
Author(s):

Marco Catani

and Stefano Sandrone

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780199383832.003.0020
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date: 18 May 2021

The structure Vesalius describes may be small, just five to nine millimeters in length, but it has a large philosophical and historical importance. Known in modern day as the pineal gland, or epiphysis to some, it takes its name from a distinctive appearance that was first noted by Galen – it is shaped just like a pine cone. It lies along the midline of the brain, near the very centre. A location that gives a tantalizing hint as to why many throughout history have glorified its importance. And why even today, despite its function being well defined, a few still shroud it in mystery.

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