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SEMINAR SERIES | Cartography of the Brain

EVENT: SEMINAR SERIES | Cartography of the Brain

DATE: 1st August 2019

TIME: 12.00-2.00 pm

VENUE: Swedenborg House, 20/21 Bloomsbury Way, London WC1A 2TH

18 July, 1 August, 15 August, 29 August & 12 September

We are delighted to have Dr David Lister return to give another seminar series at Swedenborg House following the success of his 2017 lecture series ‘Anatomy of Heaven’. More details will be forthcoming but put the dates in your diary as these seminars are not to be missed!

2. Cartography of the brain | 1 August, 12-2pm

This seminar deals with the cartography of the brain itself. David will use a model of the brain to describe its features, particularly the hippocampus. Swedenborg was one of the first to comment on the way the right hemisphere governs the left side of the body and vice versa, although he got this idea from the work of others. However, his comments on the circulation of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) are truly his own, as was his idea that CSF circulation mirrors a desire we all have for happiness. There is an interesting connection between the speech area of the cortex and the part that controls the hand, which explains why gesticulation, a form of map-making, is such an integral part of speech, and why the movements of the hands express many aspects of speech. In the context of the broader topic under perusal, cartography, the movement of the hands is particularly useful in the illustration of spatial metaphors. This seminar will also explore the ways in which the features of maps are used to describe psychological states. Mountains are used to describe joy and elation: “I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills whence cometh my help”. Valleys, conversely, are metaphors for depression: “Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death I will fear no evil”. David will describe the hippocampus, which the neuroscientist John O’Keefe and others describe as the mechanism for a cognitive map-making, and discuss some of the details of its extraordinary structure.

DAVID LISTER is the current chairman of the Swedenborg Society and a member for the past 19 years. David was a medical missionary in India and then a surgeon in Denmark, before returning to England to practice as a GP for the latter part of his career.

To book your place for these free seminars, just email