Brain and Body

      No Comments on Brain and Body

The nineteenth century in Britain belongs to materialist or somatogenic interpretations of the causes of mental problems, founded on scientific advances in physiology. Rather than mind and body, medical writers focused on the brain as the organ of the mind. British specialists such as W. A. F. Browne, physician at Crichton Royal Institution, Dumfries, built on emerging pathological anatomy, to argue that mental problems were basically organic in origin. Some doctors claimed to be able to read skulls for tell-tale signs of the physical degeneration that accompanied behavioural abnormalities, and proposed that heredity, cerebral deformation, and bad upbringing created degenerates and defectives who were a menace to society.

Image of the week: Down’s syndrome child, 1898
Courtesy of Wellcome Images. Full Bibliographic Record: Wellcome Library Catalogue L0003077EB
Copyrighted work available under Creative Commons Attribution only licence CC BY 4.0

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *