Paul Broca


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Related to Paul Broca: Broca's area, Carl Wernicke

Broca, Paul

(pōl brôkä`), 1824–80, French pathologist, anthropologist, and pioneer in neurosurgery. A professor in Paris at the Faculty of Medicine and at the Anthropological Institute, he was a founder of the Anthropological Society of Paris (1859) and of the Revue d'anthropologie (1872). An authority on aphasia, he localized the brain center for articulate speech in the convolution of Broca, or Broca's area (the third convolution of the left frontal lobe). He originated methods of classifying hair and skin color and of establishing brain and skull ratios.
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Quoting the explorer Serres, whose conclusions he nevertheless questions, Paul Broca (1860) writes in L'Hybridite Humaine:
The 19th century French surgeon Pierre Paul Broca left an indelible mark in medicine with his observations on aphasia, language dominance, and cerebral localization.
A French scientist named Paul Broca studied people who had lost the ability to speak.
Lest we forget, Thomas Huxley, Paul Broca, and other apostles of scientific rationality were among the foremost bigots of their time.
For more see Stephen Jay Gould, "Measuring Heads: Paul Broca the Heyday of Craniology," in The Mismeasure of Man, (New York, 1981), 73-112; Anne Harrington, Medicine, Mind, and the Double Brain: A Study in Nineteenth-Century Thought (Princeton, 1987), 87-90.
But mainstream republican anthropologists such as Paul Broca (1824-1880) believed that milieu had to play a role in the inheritance of acquired characteristics affecting intelligence and character.
In 1859, the year of the recognition of Boucher de Perthes (and the publication of the Origin of Species), the Societe d'Anthropologie de Paris was founded by the medical doctor Paul Broca, whose scientific authority dominated until his death in 1880.