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Stoddart, W.H. (1922). The Mechanism of the Brain and the Function of the Frontal Lobes: By Professor Leonardo Bianchi. Authorized translation by James Macdonald M.B., F.R.F.P.S. (Glasg.). (E. & S. Livingstone, Edinburgh. Pp. 335.). Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 3:399-400.

(1922). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 3:399-400

The Mechanism of the Brain and the Function of the Frontal Lobes: By Professor Leonardo Bianchi. Authorized translation by James Macdonald M.B., F.R.F.P.S. (Glasg.). (E. & S. Livingstone, Edinburgh. Pp. 335.)

Review by:
W. H.B. Stoddart

This work which contains 62 figures of the brain and four diagrams is a closely reasoned argument in favour of the author's views respecting the functions of the frontal lobes.

Two-thirds of the book are devoted to the evolution of the nervous system, the morphology and structure of the frontal lobes, the associative paths between the frontal lobes and the sensory areas of the cortex, a discussion of the results obtained by other physiologists, clinical data and the results of the author's own experiments on dogs, foxes and monkeys.

Professor Bianchi regards the frontal lobes as the 'centre' of all the other 'centres' and agrees with Lugaro that they are 'the organ which registers the story of the acts of all one's life (experience), the organ which feels the most intimate impulses of the organism and elaborates the particular mode of reaction to external stimuli'.

Patients who have suffered damage to their frontal lobes become more impulsive and exhibit alterations of character in other respects. Animals whose frontal lobes have been extirpated do not associate an impression with past experience and are less keen in perception. Their memory is reduced for both recent and remote events, their associative power is diminished and their judgment poor. There is absence of initiative and they cannot see a joke. In other words the author concludes from his many observations during no less than thirty years that the frontal lobes are the physical basis of the highest functions of mentation.

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