Shepherd Ivory Franz (American) and Otto Kalischer (German) each claimed to have been the first to combine animal training and brain extirpation to study brain function, a methodological approach that historians assert fundamentally changed subsequent neuropsychological research. Each defended his claim in 1907 in back-to-back commentaries in the journal Zentralblatt für Physiologie. Before considering details of the Franz versus Kalischer dispute, it was deemed useful to consider priority disputes in general and to revisit the priority claims for who discovered the “conditioned reflex” and whether Pierre Flourens was the “father” of brain extirpation as examples of this type of research. Consideration of the Franz–Kalischer dispute began with a brief history of the study of brain function to provide background and context for the Franz–Kalischer dispute. For additional context, biographic sketches of Franz and Kalischer are presented. Then, details of the dispute are presented and discussed followed by conclusions that include that Franz (The American Journal of Physiology, 8, 1–22, 1902) preceded Kalischer (1907a) and that it is highly unlikely that anyone before Franz had used his combination of innovative methods. Finally, the perceived importance of being first to combine animal training with brain extirpation is represented by quotations from several authors of history or psychology textbooks and one author of a history of neuroscience textbook.
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The translations of Franz (1907a) and Kalischer (1907b) used here were done by George Windholz (1932–2002) at my request in 1995, when I was doing general biographical research about Franz. Windholz was a highly regarded Pavlovian scholar (Furedy, 2004) whose research relied heavily upon his ability to translate Russian and German into English (e.g., Windholz, 1997). Copies of Franz (1907a) and Kalischer (1907b) and Windholz’s translations of them from German to English will be provided upon request. Quotations in English used in this article from these translations cannot be assigned precise page numbers because Windholz’s translations did not include the page numbers. However, as may be seen in the References, Franz’s (1907a) article appeared on pages 583–584 and Kalischer’s (1907b) appeared on pages 585–586, so the precise locations of quotations could be found easily by those who can read both languages.
. Because there is uncertainty when the volume in which Thomas (in press-b) will be published, readers are invited to download the manuscript version: https:faculty.franklin.uga.edu/rkthomas/. Permission to download the manuscript was given by the editor, James L. Pate. The uncertainty exists because this monumental project initiated by Pate has been ongoing since at least 2000. Pate invited the Franz manuscript, and he accepted it for publication in the early 2000’s. With Pate’s permission, in 2003 the manuscript was copyrighted and placed in an electronic archive, Eprint Archive: History and Theory of Psychology, which is now defunct.
The author possesses photocopies of extensive correspondence and other documents pertaining to Franz’s St. Elizabeth’s years, including all correspondence cited here in conjunction with Franz’s demotion and resignation. The photocopies were obtained either from the National Archives of the United States or from the U.S. Office of Personnel Management. I plan to donate all Franz-related materials in my possession to the Center for the History of Psychology at the University of Akron, Akron, OH.
To exemplify White’s pettiness, on May 10, 2017, White sent Franz a memorandum seeking “possibilities for economy” and questioning why Franz’s children were being fed from the “Detached kitchen” rather than the staff dining room and why they were receiving “special diets.” On May 11, 1917, Franz reminded White he had earlier said that “small children, until the age of ten or thereabouts, were best kept away from a public or general dining room, because of their probable annoyance to others than their parents.” Franz told White that his children were ages 1 and 6, and Franz wrote at length to explain that his children did not receive special diets.
With the appropriate caveat, “admittedly not the most scholarly source,” an anonymous reviewer brought to my attention a biographical article about Kalischer on the Wikipedia website that provides details not seen in Windholz’s and Lamal’s biographical sketch. The Wikipedia article indicates good scholarly work, and I recommend that interested readers consider it. It does not refer to the Franz–Kalischer dispute.
The most detailed account of Franz’s early research, including brain diagrams of individual animals, was Franz ‘s (1907b) monograph. The monograph included portions of Franz (1902) and Franz (1906). In the Preface to the monograph, Franz thanked the editor of the American Journal of Physiology for permission to publish part of the 1902 article, and in a footnote to Franz (1906), he described the article as “a preliminary communication.”
Section A: Recent (1991–2012) History of Psychology Textbooks Examined
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Section B: General References
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It is regrettable that public acknowledgement of this author’s indebtedness to George Windholz (1931–2002) for this article as well as for his friendship, advice, and assistance in other research projects was not expressed during his lifetime.
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Thomas, R.K. Priority Disputes in the History of Psychology with Special Attention to the Franz–Kalischer Dispute About Who First Combined Animal Training with Brain Extirpation to Investigate Brain Functions. Psychol Rec 66, 191–199 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1007/s40732-015-0150-3
- Animal training
- Animal learning
- Brain ablation
- Brain extirpation
- Brain lesion
- History brain research
- Priority in psychology
- Priority in science