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Experimental researches in cerebral physiology and pathology In "The West Riding Lunatic Asylum Medical Reports," Vol III
London: Smith, Elder, 1873. Ferrier, David (1843-1928). Experimental researches in cerebral physiology and pathology. In The West Riding Lunatic Asylum Medical Reports 3 (1873): 30-96. Whole volume. vi, 349pp. Text illustrations. London: Smith, Elder, 1873. 215 x 136 mm. Quarter morocco, marbled boards ca. 1873, top edge gilt, light edgewear. Light toning but very good. Clipped signature of David Ferrier, dated 1896, tipped to front flyleaf. First Edition of Ferrier?s groundbreaking first publication on the localization of cerebral function, which made his fame as an experimental neurologist. Extremely rare on the market, with no auction records going back to the nineteenth century. In the 1860s the great British neurologist John Hughlings Jackson had suggested that bodily functions could be mapped in an organized fashion onto the cerebral cortex. Jackson?s suggestion, based solely on clinical observations, was supported by experiments on dogs conducted by German physiologists Eduard Hitzig and Gustav Fritsch, who published their research in 1870. Wanting to confirm and extend the work of Hitzig and Fritsch, Ferrier, who was then working as a neurologist in London?s National Hospital for Paralysis and Epilepsy, undertook a program of experimental research at the West Riding Lunatic Asylum, an institution headed by his friend Sir James Crichton-Browne. Over the spring and summer of 1873, Ferrier obtained experimental results demonstrating that various neurologic functions were controlled by separate parts of the cerebrum and that damage or loss of that part created an irrevocable and particular deficit. He showed that these areas were much more discrete as one ascended the phylogenetic scale and accordingly effects of brain damage in rabbits, dogs and cats etc. could not be compared to those in monkeys, apes and human beings. ?[Ferrier] mapped much of the cerebral cortex and carefully delineated the ?motor-region,? as he termed it; the scheme of localized function that he put forward was based on the concept of ?motor? and ?sensory? regions. Like Fritsch and Hitzig, Ferrier carried out ablations of local areas of cerebral cortex as well as [electrical] stimulation and observed the resulting functional deficit. Jackson?s concept of ?discharging? and ?destroying? lesions was therefore reproduced experimentally and his theories put to the test. As far as the primates were concerned, they were shown to be correct? (Dictionary of Scientific Biography). Clarke & O?Mally, The Human Brain and Spinal Cord, pp. 513-14.
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