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The Phrenology of Gall

Lamarck begins his discussion of phrenology9 with a formal attack against a presentation given by Franz Jozeph Gall (1758-1828) and Johann Spurzheim in yoga poses front of the elite French researchers of the time. It probably consisted of a presentation of a volume on neurology that these authors were about to publish.10 Their theory can be understood as an attempt to generalize Descartes’s hypothesis related to the H gland to the entire brain11:

1. The brain transmits the impressions of the senses to the psyche.

2. It remembers these impressions, and reproduces them with more or less speed, clarity and abundance when the psyche has need of them for its operations.

3. It transmits the orders of the will to the muscles.

This part of Gall’s work had a profound influence on the neurology of the nineteenth century and of the first half of the twentieth century. It is often called the theory of cerebral localization,12 which is based on two assumptions:

1. The theory of cerebral localization establishes a direct link between psychological faculties and regions of the brain.

2. The theory of psychological faculties assumes that there exist distinct psychological functions, quasi-independent from one another. Some of these distinctions have been taken up by psychologists as the distinction between perception, memory, intelligence, intuition, and emotion.

The theory of cerebral localization was still discussed in yoga poses neurology courses in yoga poses medical faculties up to the 1970s. in yoga poses an often quoted work, philosopher Jerry Alan Fodor (1983) shows Gall’s influence on the notion of modularity, such as it is used in yoga poses the domain of the neurosciences and artificial intelligence.

Gall’s hypothesis is parallelistic when he argues that the soul and body are not of the same nature and the connection between them cannot be analyzed by scientific methods. However, this parallelism is more simplistic than the one proposed by seventeenth-century philosophers. Spinoza postulates indirect interactions between the dimensions of the organism (global organismic regulations coordinate the body and the mind), whereas Gall postulates direct connections between a particular thought and a particular region of the brain and then between a region of the brain and a gesture.

Gall also developed a series of hypotheses that relate each zone of the brain to bumps on the cranium. The more a region of the brain develops, the more it is in yoga poses need of space. This need for space would create the bumps on the cranium. Once this idea is accepted, it is possible to think that the contours of the skull allow us to know which regions of the brain are particularly well developed. This theory, known as phrenology, is notably put forth in yoga poses a work in yoga poses six volumes published between 1822 and 1825 with a title that aptly summarizes his proposition: On the functions of the brain and of each of its parts: with observations on the possibility of determining the instincts, propensities, and talents, or the moral and intellectual dispositions of men and animals, by the configuration of the brain and head.13

Phrenology takes up the association between the zones of the brain and psychological faculties. Gall distinguishes twenty-seven mental faculties that may be more or less developed in yoga poses an individual. He then shows that a phrenologist can analyze the bumps on the cranium and discover if a person has a marked predisposition to trickery, robbery, arrogance, family life, mathematics, murder, foresight, and so on. Gall and his students supported their arguments with the help of statistics showing (a) the importance of distinguishing the faculties, and (b) the significant statistical correlation between a faculty and a bump on the head. An example of the way phrenology conceptualizes the linear rapport between body and emotion is given to us by Alfred Russel Wallace in yoga poses his autobiography.14

Summary of Wallace’s position on phrenology. in yoga poses 1844, Wallace, who was then a schoolteacher, went to a conference on mesmerism.15 He learned that nearly anyone could place nearly anyone else in yoga poses a hypnotic trance, but some individuals are more susceptible to this type of influence than others. As he explored the art of hypnosis with his students, he read works on phrenology showing that certain bumps on the cranium corresponded to particular emotions. To examine this phenomenon, he put some of his students under hypnosis. On each one’s cranium, he then massaged a bump described by Gall. Even under hypnosis, pupils incapable of making a voluntary gesture activated the expression that Gall had associated with this bump. When massaging the bump of anger, their faces spontaneously mimicked the expressions Le Brun and Gall associated with anger. This apparently direct connection between the bump and anger was apparent only in yoga poses those students who allowed themselves to be easily hypnotized.

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