Franz Joseph Gall

In the early 1800’s, the German physician Franz Joseph Gall proposed that phrenology could reveal a person’s mental abilities and character traits. The process of phrenology was done by a phrenologist who would observe the bumps on the skull by using their fingertips and palms. They would often measure the overall head size as well. These all would relate these bumps to the 27 “brain organs” that were located under specific areas of the brain. These areas varied in function from being combative or destructive to religiosity.

Phrenology Map

Although looking back on this type of study of the brain
may seem preposterous, it did succeed in focusing
attention on the localization of function. That is the idea that various brain regions have particular functions. Gall was also one of the first to propose that the brain was the organ of the mind and the regions or bumps on the skull related to the personality and character of the individual.

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