Sign Up for a Free Account


BrainWaves #138 A gift from God: the neuroscience of Leonardo da Vinci

MedLink Neurology Podcast is delighted to feature selected episodes from BrainWaves, courtesy of James E Siegler MD, its originator and host. BrainWaves is an academic audio podcast whose mission is to educate medical providers through clinical cases and topical reviews in neurology, medicine, and the humanities, and episodes originally aired from 2016 to 2021.

Originally released: May 2, 2019

Although he may never have attended university, Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519) was a true scholar of the Renaissance. His contributions to civil and mechanical engineering, the creative arts, and natural philosophy are nothing short of extraordinary. Less well popularized--although of equal importance--were his accomplishments in the field of anatomy. This week on the BrainWaves Podcast, we delve into his discoveries, his methodology, his handedness, and the message he has left us.

Produced by James E Siegler. Music courtesy of Sergey Chereminisov, Peter Rudenko, Fatal Injection, Andrew Sacco, Alavedra Montserrat, William McColl, and Joseph Levine. Sound effects by Mike Koenig, Mark DiAngelo, and Daniel Simion. BrainWaves' podcasts and online content are intended for medical education only and should not be used for clinical decision-making. Be sure to follow us on Twitter @brainwavesaudio for the latest updates to the podcast.


Bowen G, Gonzales J, Iwanaga J, et al. Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519) and his depictions of the human spine. Childs Nerv Syst 2017;33(12):2067-70. PMID 28283776

Keele KD. Leonardo da Vinci and anatomical demonstration. Med Biol Illus 1952;2(4):226-32. PMID 13012348

Keele KD. Leonardo da Vinci on vision. Proc R Soc Med 1955;48(5):384-90. PMID 14395232

Keele KD. Leonardo Da Vinci's influence on renaissance anatomy. Med Hist 1964;8:360-70. PMID 14230140

Pedretti C, Keele KD. Leonardo Da Vinci: Corpus of the Anatomical Studies in the Collection of Her Majesty the Queen at Windsor Castle. United States: Johnson Reprint Corporation, 1981.

Pevsner J. Leonardo da Vinci's contributions to neuroscience. Trends Neurosci 2002;25(4):217-20. PMID 11998691

Pevsner J. Leonardo da Vinci's studies of the brain. Lancet 2019;393(10179):1465-72. PMID 30967217

Schott GD. Some neurological observations on Leonardo da Vinci's handwriting. J Neurol Sci 1979;42(3):321-9. PMID 390099

We believe that the principles expressed or implied in the podcast remain valid, but certain details may be superseded by evolving knowledge since the episode’s original release date.

Questions or Comment?

MedLink®, LLC

3525 Del Mar Heights Rd, Ste 304
San Diego, CA 92130-2122

Toll Free (U.S. + Canada): 800-452-2400

US Number: +1-619-640-4660



ISSN: 2831-9125