Posts Tagged ‘brain imaging’

Phrenology & fMRI

December 4, 2012

Phrenology & fMRI

“In 1849, six years prior to the first edition of Leaves of Grass, Walt Whitman visited the Phrenological Cabinet of Fowler & Wells (at the corner of Beekman and Nassau Streets) to get his head examined. This method of discerning one’s character by mapping and measuring the topography of the skull first appeared in 1796, with the research of a German neuroanatomist named Franz Joseph Gall who went on to publish 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.”

— “Amativeness, ideality, ‘God spot.’ On the seductive promise of phrenology and its progeny,” Jena Osman, Triple Canopy (navigate through it with the horizontal sliders).

“Most of the interesting things that the brain does involve many different pieces of tissue working together. Saying that emotion is in the amygdala, or that decision-making is the prefrontal cortex, is at best a shorthand, and a misleading one at that.”

— “Neuroscience Fiction,” Gary Marcus, New Yorker blog


Short Link:

Image (“The American Male Mind”) by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht,

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