Графични страници
PDF файл
ePub

principles, and to tempt them to think for themselves. And it was with the view to exercise the memory in order to give facility in recognising the faculties by their numbers, that I used the numbers as objected to. The disappointment experienced by uninitiated readers, probably arose from some want of power to associate the numbers with the names and places of the organs; and in forgetting that this might occur, I was certainly to blame. There is a very extraordinary mistake in my book, for which its not having been noticed by the reviewer

may
be

I cannot account for it, and it excited great surprise and vexation when it was discovered. Self-esteem, instead of being the first in the list of sentiments, has been placed the last of the propensities. I am, Sir, your obedient servant,

G. S. MACKENZIE.

some excuse.

ARTICLE IX.

PROCEEDINGS OF THE LONDON PHRENOLOGICAL

SOCIETY.*
CHARLES Augustus Tulk, Esq. President.

This Society commenced its third session on Thursday evening, 20 November, 1826. Mr Wheatstone, the Secretary, read a paper in defence of Phrenology, in which he combated the arguments employed by. Mr Jeffrey in his article on Phrenology, in the 88th Number of the Edinburgh Review. Visitors are admitted, by members writing their names in a book, which is kept in the council-room for that purpose.

The meetings are held every other Thursday, at halfpast seven, at the Society's rooms, 13, Buckingham Street, Strand.

The following reports are copied from the Lancet.

Second Meeting of the Third Session, Nov. 16, 1826. CHARLES AUGUSTUS Tulk, Esq. President, in the Chair.

J. Hayes, Esq. Surgeon was elected Treasurer of the Society, in the room of Emerson Dowson, Esq. deceased.

The following gentlemen were elected Corresponding Members :-John Barlow, M. D. of Bath; James Kendrick, M. D. and F. L. S. of Warrington; John P. Porter, M. D. of Portsea ; and Henry Lyford, Esq. Surgeon, of Winchester.

Dr Elliotson presented a skull of a Burmese warrior, found in a camp near the Cacher forest, sent by Dr Patterson of Calcutta ; also a cast from the head of an idiot, obtained by Dr Formby, Professor of Anatomy, Royal Institution, Liverpool. The particulars relating to the idiot, from whom the cast was taken, were as follows:-He was native of Ireland, and aged 18 years at the time of his death ; it would be almost impossible to conceive a greater degree of corporeal or mental imbecility than this wretched being presented; he was humpbacked, had two large curves in the spine, and the muscles both of the upper and lower extremities were reduced to the size of strings; he was deprived of locomotion, unable to stand, to feed himself, or to turn himself when lying on his back, the only position in which he could be placed; he could not even grasp objects but with his arms, which were always bent. He had a little downy beard, and no fat. His indications of perception and feeling were confined to knowing his mother, turning his eyes towards persons who were speaking, smiling when his face was tickled, or when children were near him, and crying when he was hungry; he had no idea of feeding himself, and, except crying, uttered no other sound than a grunt. His mother carried him about on her back for the purpose of ex. hibition, and was taken up by the parish-officers, who committed her as a vagrant, and obtained his admission into the fever-hospital at Liverpool, where he died in about a month,

VOL. IV.No XIV.

т

of diarrhoea. Upon dissection, the mesenteric glands were found enlarged, and the large intestines crammed with hardened fæces; the hemispheres of the brain were united as far back as the vertex, and there the falx, which was about two inches in length, began ; about 5 oz. of water were found in the ventricles, and the surface of the corpora striata was rough. The cerebrum weighed 1 lb. 74 oz. the cerebellum 4 oz.; for comparison, the brain of a perfect adult lying in the dead-house was weighed; the cerebrum was 3 lb. 2 oz. the cerebellum 6 oz. The circumference of the cast, round the most prominent part of the occiput and forehead, was 16 inches, and the distance from the root of the nose to the occiput was 8 inches. The head was not larger than that of a child a year old. According to Dr Gall, a brain is unfit for its functions, when its circumference is only from 13 to 17 inches.

The Secretary presented six copies of An Apology for Phrenology, from Dr Barlow, of Bath.

Dr Wright presented eight casts from national skulls, consisting of five flat-headed Indians, inhabitants of the banks of the Columbia river, North America, two Mozambique ne. groes, and one Sandwich islander.

A discussion grose, whether the flattened forehead of the Indians resulted from natural organization or artificial compression ; Dr Moore advocated the former opinion, but stated that the accounts of travellers are too inconclusive to determine the question.

The Secretary read an account of the recent pathological researches of Dr Bouillaud on the cerebral seat of the organ of Language, extracted from his “ Traité clinique et physiologique de l'Encephalite.” Numerous observations made by Dr B. himself, and others collected by him from the works of Lallemand and Rostan, were related, which tend to prove that the loss or imperfections of speech or verbal memory invariably coincides with the injury or disorganisation of the anterior part of the hemispheres of the brain, and that, when other parts of the brain are affected, leaving that in question

untouched, in no case is the faculty of Language disordered. In the first case cited of loss of verbal memory, the cerebral part corresponding to the organ of Language was completely disorganized; in the subsequent cases referred to, the parts affected were not specified with sufficient accuracy; for as, according to the phrenological doctrines, a number of distinct faculties contribute to the perfection of language, besides that of the memory of articulate sounds, it follows, that injuries in different parts of the anterior lobes of the cerebrum would injure speech in different ways, and that some parts may be affected without occasioning any diseased manifestation with regard to language; when, however, an extended disorganisation or alteration of the anterior lobes of the brain takes place, it is certain that some or all of the special faculties which contribute to language must be injured ; and they are general cases of this description which Dr B. brings forward

The Secretary concluded the report by a statement of the views of Desmoulins and Magendie, who admit, with Drs Gall and Spurzheim, and Dr Bouillaud, not only the existence of a special faculty of Language, but also that its seat is in the anterior part of the cerebral hemisphere.

Dr Elliotson noticed the case of a lady who had been under his medical care: she had entirely forgotten the names of persons and things, and indicated a pain in her head at the precise seat of the organ of Language.

The meeting then adjourned to December 7.

Third Meeting of the Third Session, Dec. 7, 1826.

Dr ELLIOTSON, Vice-President, in the Chair.

Mr J. REEVE, Surgeon, was elected an ordinary member.

The Secretary read a paper on the organ of Weight, of which the following is a brief abstract :

The principal functions attributed to this organ were suggested by Dr Spurzheim, who, from the considerations that feeling does not produce ideas of consistency, hardness, softness, solidity, or fluidity, of Weight or Resistance ; that the mind, to examine these qualities, employs the muscular system rather than the sense of feeling properly so calla ed ;--and that if the latter be lost whilst the muscular power is retained, we may still perceive Weight and Consistency ;concluded that these perceptions depend on an internal operation of the mind, and require a peculiar organ. Mr Simpson, in the 7th Number of the Phrenological Journal, establishes by reasoning and observation, “ That the cerebral convolution hitherto called the organ of Weight, is the organ of that instructive perception of Equilibrium, and the mechanical relations of matter, which is essential to the exertion of animal power.” In illustration of these principles, he shows that the organ in question is largely developed in eminent practical mechanicians, expert marksmen, good billiard-players, graceful dancers, and infants precociously steady in their walk; he also adduces authenticated cases of disease of this organ. The views, both of Dr Spurzheim and Mr Simpson, on this subject, have been recently corroborated by some important discoveries of Mr C. Bell, in a memoir “ On the Nervous Circle which connects the Voluntary Muscles with the Brain,” inserted in the last Number of the Philosophical Transactions. He proves that every muscle has two nerves of different properties supplied to it, so that between the brain and the muscles there is a circle of nerves, one nerve conveying the influence of the brain to the muscle, the other giving the sense of the condition of the muscle to the brain ; and that if the circle be broken by the division of the motor-nerve, motion ceases, but if it be broken by the division of the other nerve, there is no longer a sense of the condition of the muscle, and therefore no regulation of its activity. “ We possess a power of weighing in the hand : what is this,” Mr Bell asks, “ but estimating the muscular force? We are sensible,” Mr Bell continues, " of the most minute changes of muscular exertion, by which we know the position of the body and limbs, when there is no other means of knowledge open to us. If a

« ПредишнаНапред »