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Metascience

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Broca’s area in Broca’s era

Richard Leblanc: Fearful asymmetry. Bouillaud, Dax, Broca and the localization of language, Paris 1825–1879. Montreal: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2017, 255 pages, $35.96 HB
  • Denis Forest
Book Review
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Richard Leblanc is a neurosurgeon at the Montreal Neurological Institute and a Professor in the Department of Neurology and Neurosurgery at MacGill University. He specializes in the analysis and treatment of brain tumors and gliomas. The richly illustrated book on the Montreal Neurological Institute that he co-edited with William Feindel (Feindel and Leblanc 2016) has already demonstrated his expertise in the history of his field.

As is indicated by the subtitle, Fearful Asymmetry offers an account of the early attempts of localization of the language faculty in the human brain during the nineteenth century. As the existence of a “speech area” during this period was principally based on cases of speech disorders of cerebral origin, the book represents a new contribution to the literature on the history of aphasia. An essay in intellectual rather than social, history of medicine and neuroscience, it focuses almost exclusively on what happened in the French-speaking medical world.

The...

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.UFR de PhilosophieUniversité Paris 1 Panthéon-SorbonneParisFrance
  2. 2.IHPSTParisFrance

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