Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Cortex CerebriPerformance, Structural and Functional Organisation of the Cortex$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

O. D. Creutzfeldt

Print publication date: 1995

Print ISBN-13: 9780198523246

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198523246.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.oxfordscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2019. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use (for details see www.oxfordscholarship.com/page/privacy-policy).date: 23 March 2019

Historical introduction

Historical introduction

(p.1) 1 Historical introduction
Cortex Cerebri

O.D. Creutzfeldt

Oxford University Press

This chapter provides a historical perspective to systematic scientific research on the cerebral cortex. The significance of the cerebral cortex for the higher integrative and intellectual functions of the brain was not clearly recognized until the second half of the nineteenth century. In fact, systematic scientific research on the cerebral cortex did not begin until about 1870. However, in 1792 the anatomist Franz Josef Gall, under the influence of romantic psychology with its interest in characterology and physiognomy, had already hypothesized that certain ‘psychological qualities’ were located in specific areas of the cerebral cortex. This idea contradicted the established doctrine, originating with Rene Descartes and based on philosophy rather than on anatomy, which located the soul as a unified function in the pineal gland. Although none of these speculations had a sound anatomical basis, Gall's phrenology was a step in the right direction. At the centre of Gall's hypothesis was the conviction that intellectual and moral powers were located in certain regions of the surface of the brain.

Keywords:   cerebral cortex, physiognomy, phrenology, characterology, anatomical distinction, cortical areas

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .