Neuropsychiatry: The Story So Far

  • Andrea E. Cavanna


The seventeenth and eighteenth centuries saw the birth of the terms ‘neurology’ and ‘psychiatry’, the two components of the word ‘neuropsychiatry’. Despite the excess of a too literal approach to brain-behaviour relationships, Gall and Spurzheim’s phrenology should be recognised for mounting formal opposition to the mind-brain dualism that still prevailed in the first part of the nineteenth century and for establishing a (proto)scientific foundation for considering the brain as the organ of behaviour. The second half of the nineteenth century was dominated by Charcot’s school in France, whereas in Germany Griesinger expanded his predecessors’ work on the cerebral localisation of mental diseases and their symptoms. The first part of the twentieth century saw the development of Freud’s influential theories, which progressively shifted the focus of psychiatry from the brain to the unconscious. However the neuropsychiatric approach to brain-behaviour correlations did not disappear, thanks to the approach endorsed by Hughlings Jackson, von Economo, and Goldstein, among others.


History Neurology Neuropsychiatry Phrenology Psychiatry 

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Andrea E. Cavanna
    • 1
  1. 1.Dept of NeuropsychiatryUniversity of BirminghamBirminghamUnited Kingdom

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