Franz Joseph Gall

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Gall, Franz Joseph


Born Mar. 9, 1758, in Tiefenbrunn, Austria; died Aug. 22, 1828, in Montrouge near Paris. Austrian physician and anatomist. Founder of phrenology.

On the basis of anatomical research and numerous observations of various groups of people, Gall came to the conclusion that the centers of mental life were concentrated not in the ventricles of the brain, as was generally believed at that time, but in the cerebral convolutions. His anatomic works were based on experiments. At the same time, the classification of mental capacities proposed by him was completely arbitrary. However arbitrary were the ideas of Gall on the location of mental functions in different parts of the cerebral hemispheres, the idea of the location of mental functions in itself represented an important step forward in psychological theory. Gall assumed that variations in cerebral convolutions must be revealed on the outer form of the skull—its bumps, by means of which the mental capacities of a man could be judged. These ideas were the foundation of phrenology, which gained tremendous popularity in the 19th century. Physiological research has proved phrenology untenable.


Iaroshevskii, M. G. Istoriia psikhologii. Moscow, 1966. Chapter 7.
Fraisse, P., and J. Piaget [comps.]. Eksperimental’naia psikhologiia: Sb. st., vol. 1. Moscow, 1966. Chapter 1.


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In 1767, a nine-year-old boy named Franz Gall was sent by his parents to attend school in the Black Forest of Germany.
His profound reading of Goethe's poem inspired by the contemplation of Scl;killer's skull encompassed not only the ghoulish circumstances surrounding the recovery of the skull from its mass grave but also such factors as Goethe's interest in the phrenological theories of Franz Gall.
Otra teoria que surgio en el siglo pasado fue la del medico aleman Franz Gall (1758-1828) afirmaba que en la superficie del cerebro habia un mapa que se reflejaba en la superficie del craneo, por lo que bastaba con interpretar el mapa para conocer las facultades morales e intelectuales innatas.