In the 18th century a new concept about brain began birth: how different functions of mind were assigned to specific cortical regions. Theory of cortical localization had a champion in Franz Joseph Gall (1758-1828). He tried to associate bodily feature with personality characteristics. He renewed a new version of physiognomy, promoting the idea that the development of the different cerebral areas is reflected in the pattern of bumps on the overlying skull. He defined twenty seven faculties of mind located in the human brain. With Gall and Johann Spurzheim (1776-1832) the mental science of ‘Phrenology’ was born. They founded their theories examined animal and human skulls without clinical correlations. Gall’s Phrenology had a great vogue among the educated classes in England and it was considered that the new science represented a marvelous addition to our knowledge. Gall’s ideas were later contested and supported by various French scientists: Marie Jean Pierre Flourens (1794-1867) and Paul Broca (1824-1880) who in 1860s argued for cortical localization and cerebral dominance, citing clinical cases to make his points.
- Browne, James P., ‘Memoir of the late Mr James De Ville’ , Phrenological Journal, 19, pp. 329-344, 1846
- ‘Mr De Ville’s Collection’, Phrenological Journal, 14, pp. 19-23, 1841
- Kaufman, M H. Circumstances surrounding the examination of the skull and brain of George Combe (1788-1858) advocate of phrenology. Proceedings of the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh 25 (4): 663-74, 1995
- Wright, Peter. “George Combe: phrenologist, philosopher, psychologist (1788-1858)” . Cortex 41 (4) 447-51, 2005