Medicine, Mind, and the Double Brain: A Study in Nineteenth-Century Thought

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Overview

"Anyone interested in the differences in function between the left and right brain hemispheres will find Anne Harrington's 'binturicul' Account a freshening and sobering revelation. Far from being a new field of neuroscience, cerebral laterality was the center of significant and impassioned controversy in the latter half of the nineteenth century, with ramifications into . . . Accurate, fascinating, and important."—Julian Jaynes, author of The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind

Focuses on the ways in which 19th century French neurologists thought behavior was controlled from specific spots in the brain.

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Editorial Reviews

New York Times Book Review - Elaine Showalter
Surely the rising star of body parts in the 1980 . . . Be right brain. Bookstores are well-stocked with guides to using the right brain in activities ranging from drawing business Techniques for brain training include talking with the telephone at the left ear, putting the right arm in a sting for a week, banning the use of the word 'no' and drawing the 'negative space' around the object instead of the object itself. Such exercises allegedly help us regain what some call 'wbole-brain thinking,' especially those creative capacities ('R-modes') of the right hemisphere of the brain that have been neglected in favor of left-brain logic. . . . Anyone tempted to invest in R-modes will profit from Anne Harrington's enlightening history of the concept of the double brain. . . . Her book serves as a timely warning that the functions of the brain's hemispheres, like other kinds of division of labor, are likely to be far more complicated than the simple, seductive division into left and right can explain.
London Review of Books - P.W. Atkins
Anne Harrington . . . . An account of the emergence of our understanding of our own inner dissymmetry. It sets the striving towards comprehension amid the social prejudices and pressures of the nineteenth century and shows how the expectations of the time moulded scientific opinion.
London Review of Books - P. W. Atkins
Anne Harrington . . . . An account of the emergence of our understanding of our own inner dissymmetry. It sets the striving towards comprehension amid the social prejudices and pressures of the nineteenth century and shows how the expectations of the time moulded scientific opinion.
From the Publisher
"Surely the rising star of body parts in the 1980 . . . Be right brain. Bookstores are well-stocked with guides to using the right brain in activities ranging from drawing business Techniques for brain training include talking with the telephone at the left ear, putting the right arm in a sting for a week, banning the use of the word 'no' and drawing the 'negative space' around the object instead of the object itself. Such exercises allegedly help us regain what some call 'wbole-brain thinking,' especially those creative capacities ('R-modes') of the right hemisphere of the brain that have been neglected in favor of left-brain logic. . . . Anyone tempted to invest in R-modes will profit from Anne Harrington's enlightening history of the concept of the double brain. . . . Her book serves as a timely warning that the functions of the brain's hemispheres, like other kinds of division of labor, are likely to be far more complicated than the simple, seductive division into left and right can explain."—Elaine Showalter, New York Times Book Review

"Anne Harrington . . . . An account of the emergence of our understanding of our own inner dissymmetry. It sets the striving towards comprehension amid the social prejudices and pressures of the nineteenth century and shows how the expectations of the time moulded scientific opinion."—P. W. Atkins, London Review of Books

New York Times Book Review
Surely the rising star of body parts in the 1980 . . . Be right brain. Bookstores are well-stocked with guides to using the right brain in activities ranging from drawing business Techniques for brain training include talking with the telephone at the left ear, putting the right arm in a sting for a week, banning the use of the word 'no' and drawing the 'negative space' around the object instead of the object itself. Such exercises allegedly help us regain what some call 'wbole-brain thinking,' especially those creative capacities ('R-modes') of the right hemisphere of the brain that have been neglected in favor of left-brain logic. . . . Anyone tempted to invest in R-modes will profit from Anne Harrington's enlightening history of the concept of the double brain. . . . Her book serves as a timely warning that the functions of the brain's hemispheres, like other kinds of division of labor, are likely to be far more complicated than the simple, seductive division into left and right can explain.
— Elaine Showalter
London Review of Books
Anne Harrington . . . . An account of the emergence of our understanding of our own inner dissymmetry. It sets the striving towards comprehension amid the social prejudices and pressures of the nineteenth century and shows how the expectations of the time moulded scientific opinion.
— P. W. Atkins
London Review of Books

Anne Harrington . . . . An account of the emergence of our understanding of our own inner dissymmetry. It sets the striving towards comprehension amid the social prejudices and pressures of the nineteenth century and shows how the expectations of the time moulded scientific opinion.
— P. W. Atkins
New York Times Book Review

Surely the rising star of body parts in the 1980 . . . Be right brain. Bookstores are well-stocked with guides to using the right brain in activities ranging from drawing business Techniques for brain training include talking with the telephone at the left ear, putting the right arm in a sting for a week, banning the use of the word 'no' and drawing the 'negative space' around the object instead of the object itself. Such exercises allegedly help us regain what some call 'wbole-brain thinking,' especially those creative capacities ('R-modes') of the right hemisphere of the brain that have been neglected in favor of left-brain logic. . . . Anyone tempted to invest in R-modes will profit from Anne Harrington's enlightening history of the concept of the double brain. . . . Her book serves as a timely warning that the functions of the brain's hemispheres, like other kinds of division of labor, are likely to be far more complicated than the simple, seductive division into left and right can explain.
— Elaine Showalter
Library Journal
This work is an example of conceptual history at its best. The author concentrates on the neurological sciences in the period 1860-1900, principally in France and other European countries. Theories of cognition have roots in Cartesian philosophy, and Harrington carefully prepares the reader for developments in the latter half of the 19th century, when philosophical concepts and scientific rigor were combined. The many significant developments of this period include Broca's localization of function in the brain, and the writings of Charcot and Freud. A final chapter follows through to the present. Serious students in the history of medicine and science will delight in this book. Frances Groen, McGill Univ. Lib., Montreal
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780691024226
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press
  • Publication date: 1/1/1989
  • Edition description: REPRINT
  • Pages: 354
  • Product dimensions: 6.05 (w) x 9.05 (h) x 0.84 (d)

Table of Contents

List of Figures and Tables ix
Acknowledgments xi
A Note on References and Style xiii
Introduction 3
Chapter 1 The Pre-1860 Legacy 6
1.1. The Search for the Seat of the Soul
1.2. Brain-Duality and the "Laws of Symmetry"
1.3. Madness and the Double Brain
1.4. Arthur Ladbroke Wigan and the "Duality of the Mind"
1.5. Changing Categories of Reference
Chapter 2 Language Localization and the Problem of Asymmetry 35
2.1. The Intellectual Context
2.2. Tan and the Localization of "Articulate Language"
2.3. The Academie de Medecine Debates
2.4. Broca and the Question of Human Uniqueness
2.5. The Discovery of Asymmetry
2.6. The Doctrine of "la Gaucherie Cerebrale"
2.7. Asymmetry and "Perfectibility": Why Some People Are More Unique Than Others
Chapter 3 Left-Right Polarities of Mind and Brain 70
3.1. From Asymmetry to Left-Brain Superiority
3.2. "No Grin Without a Cat": The Structural Basis of Left-Brain Preeminence
3.3. The Left Hemisphere and the "Other Side of the Brain"
3.4. Concluding Thoughts: The Brain as Myth and Metaphor
Chapter 4 The Post-Broca Case for "Duality of Mind": Basic Issues and Themes 105
4.1. The Wider Context
4.2. Anatomical and Physiological Considerations
4.3. Psychiatric Applications
4.4. Philosophical Implications
4.5. Popularization and Further Extensions of the Hypothesis
Chapter 5 Left-Brain versus Right-Brain Selves and the Problem of the Corpus Callosum 136
5.1. Two Brains/Two Opposing Personalities?
5.2. Frederic Myers on Brain Duality and the "Subliminal Self"
5.3. The Strange Case of Louis Vive
5.4. Lombroso on Mediumistic Consciousness and the Right Hemisphere
5.5. Lewis Pruce and the "Welsh" Case
5.6. Bleuler on "Unilateral Delirium"
5.7. Objections to the Brain Duality Hypothesis and the Problem of the Corpus Callosum
5.8. Unilateral Apraxia and the Problem of the Corpus Callosum: A Second Look
Chapter 6 The "Experimental Evidence": Metalloscopy and Hemi-Hypnosis 166
6.1. Hysteria and the Double Brain
6.2. Metalloscopy and the Discovery of "Transfer"
6.3. Hypnotizing the Double Brain (Phase One)
6.4. Hypnotizing the Double Brain (Phase Two)
6.5. Contemporary Reaction and the Decline of a Research Program
Chapter 7 The Hughlings Jackson Perspective 206
7.1. Dissent from the French Faculty School
7.2. Basic Principles: Concomitance, Evolution, Localization, Compensation
7.3. Unilateral Disorders and "Sparing"
7.4. Propositional (Voluntary) versus Emotional (Automatic) Speech
7.5. "Imperception" and the Voluntary Functions of the Right Hemisphere
7.6. The "Duality of the Mental Operations"
7.7. Applications of the Thesis
Chapter 8 Freud and Jackson's Double Brain: The Case for a Psychoanalytic Debt 235
8.1. Jackson and the Freudian Monograph "On Aphasia"
8.2. Freud and Jackson on Language and the Possibility of Consciousness
8.3. Subject/Object Consciousness versus Primary/Secondary Thought
8.4. Pathological Subject Consciousness and the Mechanism of Repression
Chapter 9 The Fate of the Double Brain 248
9.1. From Hysteria to Schizophrenia: The Consequences of Clinical Cartesianism
9.2. Neurology's Rediscovery of the "Whole"
9.3. Complementary Trends in the Laboratory
9.4. The Problem of Hemisphere Differences: New Trends in the Clinic
9.5. "Split-Brain" Man, and the Launching of a New Era
9.6. On the Relations between Old Views and New: Some Closing Questions
Appendix Guide to the Major Structures of the Human Brain Discussed in This Study 287
Addenda 290
References 291
Index 329
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