Wilson, Elizabeth A.
Books The Lobotomy Letters: The Making of American Psychosurgery (Rochester Studies in Medical
Psychosomatic: Feminism and the Neurological Body. Durham: Duke University Press.
Smail, Daniel L. Stadler, Max. Cooter, Roger. The monograph is organized along six major neuroscientific subject matters the cerebrospinal axis, the nerve cell, the reflex, nerve function, brain functions, and the vegetative nervous system. It provides an overview of major ideas and scientific achievements in each of the fields in the English-, German-, French-, and Italian-speaking European world with a focus on the first half of the 19 th -century.
It also offers a massive appendix to support the readers own research in the form of pages of bibliographical notes plus a detailed page bibliography containing primary and secondary works from the 18 th through the 20 th century. Nonetheless, the authors do not try to explain the different ways in which the neuroscientific concepts they discuss have been able to persist over the course of the 19 th and 20 th centuries and they do not attempt to define contemporary neuroscience with nearly the precision that Nikolas Rose attempts see below.
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Rather, Clarke and Jacyna provide an account of the ways in which Naturphilosophie and views of interdependency between the mind, brain, and environment have influenced early mind and brain research. They argue that Romantic philosophy, scientific theories, and experimental practice were interdependent—all the more reason to spell out how the concepts have been able to survive in a radically altered philosophical environment.
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The authors arrive at this conclusion after treating the neuromolecularization of the brain as a consequence of the founding of neuroscience in an amalgamation of the brain and psy-sciences as well as mathematics, physics, chemistry, and computer science ch. The introduction of the pharmacological and the genetic themes as well as the hope in regenerative and normalizing powers of brain plasticity are important additions to the mind vs. First, he discusses randomized controlled trials and shows how the overemphasis on methodological aptness leads to a neglect of the neuropsychological phenomenon in question.
Second, he argues that insights gained during psychotherapy can provide useful knowledge to aid neuropsychological investigations of brain-behavior relationships in much more depth than the usual neuropsychological questionnaires can elicit. Third, he illustrates how disorders of self-awareness after brain injury are accessible through thorough experimental study and do not lie beyond the realm of neuroscience. Finally, he dismantles the dogma that psychotherapy is ineffective to treat any disorder stemming from a brain injury by referring to case studies in which the emotional trauma associated with the brain lesion could actually be treated successfully with psychotherapy.
Interestingly enough, none of these dogmas except for the fourth one pertaining to brain lateralization corresponds to the main characteristics that Clarke and Jacyna identify in the alleged roots of contemporary neuroscience in the 19 th century. The book compiles projects funded and initiated by DARPA and its collaboration with academic institutions as well as intelligence agencies in the name of national security. The topics treated include psychological warfare, neuro-enhancement for soldiers, and neuroscientific lie-detection or mind-reading devices.
In a concluding chapter, Moreno takes a similar stance towards neuroscientific dual-use research as Rose and Abi-Rached take towards brainotyping for criminality, for instance. From a cultural point of view, Vidal explains, this assumption is widespread in contemporary so-called Western societies, as evidenced in newly emerging and very authoritative fields such as neuroethics, neuroeconomics, neurobics, etc.get link
Informed Consent and the History of Modern Neurosurgery
In particular, Vidal argues that the modern view of the brain-self is the necessary precursor to the contemporary neuro-hype and not a consequence of the new technologies and the new knowledge—which is not actually that novel, he contends. One possible explanation is that the brain is considered to be a circumscribed plastic organ, whereas the genome cannot be so easily manipulated in a living organism; the idea of neuroenhancement may thus stimulate the appeal of the cerebral subject in neoliberal societies.
The unconditional primacy of brainhood is a dogma in our contemporary brain and mind sciences that Prigatano does not even seem to be able to identify it as such. In her first chapter, Malabou introduces three forms of plasticity: developmental, synaptic, and regenerative. Her second chapter describes two interrelated decentralization developments; first, the corporation-oriented economy and neoliberal ways of governing, and, second, the abandonment of the equation between brains and machines. If one cannot adapt in a socially conform way, one gets excluded or chemically normalized, Malabou suggests with examples of mental illnesses.
In her third chapter, Malabou addresses the question of how the mental and neuronal relate to one another. Yet, the mental is not reducible to the neuronal. Malabou, however, asks individuals to mold their own brain through confrontation and originality. Where Rose and Abi-Rached are optimistic and Malabou is critically enthusiastic, Pitts-Taylor is pessimistic or realistic in pointing to the normative power of the brain plasticity discourse in popular discourse.
The false promise of empowerment justifies the rhetoric of determinism and blame for the non-conformant and the un-self-disciplined, she shows. Concepts such as self-care, responsibility, enhancement, risk-aversion, and flexibility all come with the popular plasticity package. Scull draws on a wide range of archival sources, such as case books, visitor books, registers, correspondence, and annual reports from different asylums, parliamentary reports and official statements; further sources include memoirs, then and now contemporary monographs and articles, as well as dissertations from the s and s, reflecting the increase of scholarship on psychiatry during these years.
Chapter 1 traces the rise of mental asylums in 18 th -century English society as a culturally and socially fitting response to the new industrialized capitalist lifestyle. These value statements reinforced the perceived authority of doctors and scientists in elite circles, Scull argues, as they resonated with the new capitalist ideology—and so did the centralization and rationalization of the economized state-overseen asylum system. Private patients had access to smaller asylums for the better-off, but many middle- and upper-class families avoided sending individuals there for as long as they could.
Oppenheim puts much emphasis on gender- and age-dependent notions of mental illness as well as practices of treatment beyond the asylum, topics largely neglected by Scull and other historians of the brain and mind sciences.
The Making of American Psychosurgery
Her sources and history are particularly skewed towards the work of J. Crichton-Browne, who worked as a medical doctor from the s through the s ch.
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One big challenge to Victorian psychiatrists, as Oppenheim describes it, was the fact that men were equally likely to suffer from breakdowns as women. Even though Oppenheim puts less overt emphasis on the growing pervasiveness of capitalism, she, too, shows that psychiatrists targeted middle-class males for economic reasons, to name only one example. Although she acknowledges the misogyny in this form of psychiatric treatment, Oppenheim vehemently argues against the feminist rebellion hypothesis pp. Up to , Goldstein explains, the British set the tone in the treatment of mental illness, and around , the Germans took over.
The century in between belonged to Frenchmen who worked hard for and were eventually granted authority through the scientific diagnosis and so-called moral treatment of diseases such as monomania and hysteria. Goldstein argues that 19 th -century French psychiatry stood and understood itself in the tradition of the clergy as intimately connected with families and the health of humans.
At the same time, the psychiatrists deliberately scientized their field by studying pathologies with experimental methods as well as developing, refining, and correcting disease classifications and competed against the clergy for authority in asylums. Drawing on an exceptionally wide range of contemporary novels, compendiums, psychiatric treatises, as well as further popular and scientific publications and archival material, Matlock illustrates the similarities between the textual representation of low-class prostitutes and higher-class hysteric women, both of which had fallen out of favor with society due to their alleged seductive danger or, in other words, their resistance to fulfilling the social role assigned to them.
The prostitute, mostly considered to be initially healthy but a victim of an invasion of unfulfilled desires from outside, was thus a model for a deviant woman and at the same time a promising instrument for containing morals. The class distinction in particular, Matlock argues, became increasingly invisible and strategies were sought to morally cure all women inside and outside of the asylum regardless of their social standing.
As Buhle suggests, feminists like E. Goldman, for instance, stimulated S. Freud and the neo-Freudians to abandon their male-centrism and elaborate more on female sexuality, a topic that had been largely neglected by psychoanalysts by the s and s, but seemed necessary to first-wave feminists to develop theories of female subjectivity.
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Psychoanalysis provided feminists with the theories and vocabulary to elaborate on the difference between women and men in the first decades of the 20 th century chs. In different stages of the history of feminism and psychoanalysis, the relationship between the two fields was more hostile, Buhle shows.
Buhle heavily draws on Marxist theory and concludes that Freud and K. Marx share a similar obsession with the analysis of re productive processes despite their disagreement about whether labor or sexuality is the primary force that drives human endeavors. Guenther extensively draws on archival sources from Europe and North America in her case studies about T. Meynert, C. Wernicke, S. Freud, O. Foerster, P. Schilder, and W.
Eventually, Guenther suggests that Freud is much more relevant to the history of medicine and the brain sciences than most scholars would concede and that the histories of neuropsychiatry, psychoanalysis, and neurology cannot be fully comprehended separately from one another.
The Neurologists tells the story of the professionalization and emancipation of neurology in Britain from the French Revolution to the end of the Decade of the Brain initiative with a focus on the first two thirds of the 20 th century. Stephen Casper visited a wide range of archives in the US and Great Britain and consulted consecutive series of two dozen different newspapers and periodicals in researching his first monograph.
He argues that it was precisely the adherence to a broad understanding of medicine and health that made neurologists rise to authority, and not any form of radical boundary work towards general physicians. Over the course of the 19 th century, brain scientists deliberately practiced or stayed in close contact with general medicine and refused a status as specialists even after the founding of the Neurological Society of London in Britain was one of the slowest nations to embrace medical specialization, Casper explains, as exemplified by the formation of the Royal Society of Medicine in , an attempt to counteract the fragmentation of medicine.