"I have to admit, I have a very low opinion of human beings"
Why did the father of modern neuroscience prefer to study insects? At the turn of the 20th century, Santiago Ramón y Cajal — who discovered the precise physical structure of brain cells and proposed the "neuron theory" — was the most influential neuroscientist of his time. However, after the horrors of WW1, he was thrust into a deep depression resulting in his disgust about the degrading ranking that scientists imposed on other species and his belief that humans would never be able to advance beyond our Neolithic instincts. Benjamin Ehrlich explains how Cajal found solace in the insect world, preferring to tackle great problems in the world of the small and delighting in the "terrifying sensation of the unfathomable mystery of life."