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12" Ceramic Phrenology Head

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Phrenology was based on the principle of cerebral localization — which postulates that different regions of the brain are associated with different cognitive processes. Why was phrenology so popular?

The first publication in the United States in support of phrenology was published by Dr. John Bell, who reissued Combe's essays with an introductory discourse, in 1822. [76] The following year, Dr. John G. Wells of Bowdoin College "commenced an annual exposition, and recommendation of its doctrines, to his class". [76] In 1834, Dr. John D. Godman, professor of anatomy at Rutgers Medical College, emphatically defended phrenology when he wrote: [77] Several literary critics have noted the influence of phrenology [84] (and physiognomy) in Edgar Allan Poe's fiction. [85] Temkin, O. (1947). Gall and the phrenological movement. Bulletin of the History of Medicine, 21(3), 275-321.In the novel The Hound of the Baskervilles, Holmes' client is Dr James Mortimer, who claims to be a practitioner of phrenology. Nonetheless, phrenologists still exist today. Several scientists have used MRI studies as a way of refuting the practice using modern scientific methods. Parker Jones, Alfaro-Almagro, and Jbabdi (2018), for example, used structural MRI to quantify local scalp curvature. McCandless, Peter (1992). "Mesmerism and Phrenology in Antebellum Charleston: 'Enough of the Marvellous' ". The Journal of Southern History. 58 (2): 199–230. doi: 10.2307/2210860. JSTOR 2210860.

Ultimately, criminal phrenology would serve as the foundation for the development of the positivist biological school of criminology.In 1809 Gall began writing his principal [21] work, The Anatomy and Physiology of the Nervous System in General, and of the Brain in Particular, with Observations upon the possibility of ascertaining the several Intellectual and Moral Dispositions of Man and Animal, by the configuration of their Heads. It was not published until 1819. In the introduction to this main work, Gall makes the following statement in regard to his doctrinal principles, which comprise the intellectual basis of phrenology: [22] Later, Spurzheim would modify Gall’s theories by eliminating all faculties that were inherently evil, such as the faculty of murder and carnivorousness.

Combe, George (1851). A System of Phrenology. Boston: Benjamin B. Mussey and Company. Archived from the original on 2023-02-05 . Retrieved 2012-06-10. The brain is the organ that contains all of someone’s mental facilities, tendencies, and feelings — what he called the “organ of the soul;” Monogenists, including Blumenbach, Friedrich Tiedemann (1781-1861), and James Cowles Pritchard (1786-1848), relied upon the impact of differing environments to explain human differences. Except for the philosopher and critic of phrenology Sir William Hamilton (1788-1856), who filled skulls with sand to measure their volume, it was Tiedemann who first, in 1836, made systematic racial comparison of the size of the interior of the braincase. 18 By filling braincases with millet then measuring the difference between the weight of the filled and emptied skull, Tiedemann estimated brain size by weight. After measuring over 400 hundred crania from different races (using Blumenbach’s categories), Tiedemann concluded that the large overlap in brain measurements among the races suggested monogenism, and provided a scientific basis for ending the slave trade. 19

According to Cambridge University, phrenologists promoted Morton's ideas, thus turning the study of the skull into a way to justify the forcible relocation and the subjugation of Native American people. Indeed, the Gage case provides an interesting connection between phrenology and neuroscience. Phrenologists might have said that the bar damaged Gage's "benevolence"; modern-day neuroscientists would note that it damaged his frontal lobe, which can cause behavior changes. Public Domain A "Facial Goniometer" from Crania Americana, which Morton used to study skull shapes and sizes.

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