Broca's views on aphasia and their fore-runners

Juergen Tesak
Akademie für Medizinische Rehabilitation Klinik Bavaria, Kreischa, Germany

Pierre Paul Broca (1824-1880) often is considered to be the founding father of aphasiology. Broca (1861) is considered to be a "turning point in the history of aphasia" (Googlass 1993: 18) and it is, according to Caplan (1987:43), the beginning of "the first scientific studies of patients with acquired disorders of language". This paper and another one, Broca (1865), contain the basic assumptions of the classic approach in aphasiology: spoken language disturbance is due to a lesion of the third frontal convolution of the left hemisphere. However, it has to be understood that Broca's importance lies in his ability to unify various approaches and pieces of knowledge, rather than in developing new hypotheses or discovering new clinical findings. In this poster, forerunners of Broca's opinions will be presented in relation to relevant topic: (i) correlation lesion and symptom: Franz-Joseph Gall (1758-1828), (ii) language localization: Franz-Joseph Gall, Jean-Baptiste Bouillaud (1796-1881), (iii) conceptualization of aphasia as leaving speech, memory, and intellectual abilities intact: Franz-Joseph Gall, (iv) role and form of convolutions: Friedrich Tiedeman (1781-1861), François Leurat (1797-1851), (v) role of the left hemisphere: Marc Dax (1770-1837).

Broca, P. (1861a) Remarques sur le siège de la faculté du langage articulé, suivies d'une observation d'aphémie (perte de la parole). Bulletins de la Société Anatomique de Paris, XXXVI, 330-357.
Broca, P. (1861b) Nouvelle observation d'aphémie produite par une lésion de la moitié postérieure des deuxième et troisième circonvolutions frontales. Bulletins de la Société Anatomique de Paris, XXXVI, 398-407.
Broca, P. (1865) Du siège de la faculté du langage articulé dans l'hémisphère gauche du cerveau. Bulletins de la Société d'Anthropologie de Paris, VI, 377-396.
Goodglass, H. (l993) Understanding Aphasia. San Diego: Academic Press.
Caplan, D. (1987) Neurolinguistics and Linguistic Aphasiology. Cambridge: CUP.

Poster Session II
Friday, 20 June 1997, 16.10 - 16.40

Second Annual Meeting of the International Society for the History of the Neurosciences (ISHN) and 6th Meeting of the European Club on the History of Neurology (ECHN)

Leiden, The Netherlands