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It goes back to late adolescence and reading books about psychology, the sort of extra curriculum reading that does not seem to be encouraged these days. This was when I was quickly swotting up biology for medical school having previously been a boring ‘maths, physics and chemistry’ pupil destined for what I had realised just in time might be a boring job. Then, quickly checking with my personal library, I was clearly reading books about memory and hypnosis when I was a preclinical student at Cambridge (I have a tendency to write the date in the front of a book when I read it). Also, although I did my third year in anatomy, in truth it was mostly what would now be called neuroscience. We were taught by Peter Lewis and Charles Shute to stain for acetylcholinesterase in the retina, and by Gabriel Horn to listen to and watch single neurons firing off in cat occipital cortex in response to visual stimuli, and we learned about habituation which we could check out by throwing stones to the ducks in the river Cam. But it was really the choice of medical school …
Competing interests None.
Provenance and peer review Commissioned; not externally peer reviewed.