Encyclopedia of Clinical Neuropsychology

2018 Edition
| Editors: Jeffrey S. Kreutzer, John DeLuca, Bruce Caplan

Localization

  • Andrew BellEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-57111-9_329

Definition

The theory of localization in the brain states that specific parts of the brain control specific aspects of brain function.

Current Knowledge

Localization of function in the brain refers to the theory that specific parts of the brain control specific aspects of brain function. The idea of a localization of function in the brain has been considered for hundreds of years. The now-debunked pseudoscience of phrenology was based on the idea that brain function was localized to specific parts of the brain and a phrenologist could analyze a person’s specific brain function by examining the shape of the skull. Modern understanding of the brain is much more sophisticated, yet it is known that some brain functions are indeed localized.

The scientific community began accepting theories of localization when researchers Paul Broca, Carl Wernicke, and others discovered that damage to a specific part of the brain was associated with loss of specific functions. Paul Broca’s research showed...

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Anatomy and NeurobiologyVirginia Commonwealth UniversityRichmondUSA