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

Abstract

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.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Notes

  1. 1.

    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.

  2. 2.

    . 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.

  3. 3.

    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.

  4. 4.

    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.

  5. 5.

    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.

  6. 6.

    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.”

References

Section A: Recent (1991–2012) History of Psychology Textbooks Examined

  1. Benjafield, J. G. (2005). A history of psychology (2nd ed.). Ontario, Canada: Oxford University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  2. Benjamin, L. T., Jr. (1997). A history of psychology: Original sources and contemporary research. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.

    Google Scholar 

  3. Benjamin, L. T., Jr. (2007). A history of modern psychology. Malden, MA: Blackwell.

    Google Scholar 

  4. Bolles, R. C. (1993). The story of psychology: A thematic history. Pacific Grove, CA: Brooks/Cole.

    Google Scholar 

  5. Brennan, J. F. (2003). History and systems of psychology (6th ed.). Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall.

    Google Scholar 

  6. Fancher, R. E. (1996). Pioneers of psychology (3rd ed.). New York, NY: W. W. Norton.

    Google Scholar 

  7. Fancher, R. E., & Rutherford, A. (2012). Pioneers of psychology (4th ed.). New York, NY: W. W. Norton.

    Google Scholar 

  8. Goodwin, C. J. (2008). A history of modern psychology (3rd ed.). New York. NY: John Wiley & Sons.

    Google Scholar 

  9. Hergenhahn, B. R. (2009). An introduction to the history of psychology (6th ed.). Pacific Grove, CA: Thomson/Wadsworth.

    Google Scholar 

  10. Hothersall, D. (2004). History of psychology (4th ed.). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.

    Google Scholar 

  11. Hunt, M. (1993). The story of psychology. New York, NY: Doubleday.

    Google Scholar 

  12. Krapp, K. (Ed.). (2005). Psychologists and their theories for students. Volume 1: A-K, Volume 2: L.-Z. Detroit, MI: Thomson-Gale.

    Google Scholar 

  13. Leahey, T. H. (2001). A history of modern psychology (3rd ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.

    Google Scholar 

  14. Leahey, T. H. (2004). A history of psychology: Main currents in psychological thought (6th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.

    Google Scholar 

  15. O’Boyle, C. G. (2006). History of psychology: A cultural perspective. Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.

    Google Scholar 

  16. Schultz, D. P., & Schultz, S. E. (2004). A history of modern psychology (8th ed.). Belmont, CA: Thomson/Wadsworth.

    Google Scholar 

  17. Smith, R. (1997). The Norton history of the human sciences. London, England: W. W. Norton.

    Google Scholar 

  18. Thorne, B. M., & Henley, T. B. (2005). Connections in the history and systems of psychology (3rd ed.). Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin.

    Google Scholar 

  19. Viney, W., & King, D. B. (2003). A history of psychology: Ideas and context (3rd ed.). Boston, MA: Allyn & Bacon.

    Google Scholar 

  20. Watson, R. I., & Evans, R. B. (1991). The great psychologists: A history of psychological thought (5th ed.). New York, NY: HarperCollins.

    Google Scholar 

  21. Wertheimer, M. (2000). A brief history of psychology (4th ed.). Belmont, CA: Thomson/Wadsworth.

    Google Scholar 

Section B: General References

  1. Boring, E. G. (1929). A history of experimental psychology. New York, NY: D. Appleton-Century-Crofts.

    Google Scholar 

  2. Boring, E. G. (1950). A history of experimental psychology (2nd ed.). New York, NY: Appleton-Century-Crofts.

    Google Scholar 

  3. Brannigan, A. (1981). The social basis of scientific discoveries. Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  4. Brodal, A. (1981). Neurological anatomy in relation to clinical medicine (3rd ed.). New York, NY: Oxford University Press.

  5. Colotla, V. A., & Bach-y-Rita, P. (2002). Shepherd Ivory Franz: His contributions to neuropsychology and rehabilitation. Cognitive, Affective, & Behavioral Neuroscience, 2, 141–148.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  6. Coon, D. J. (1982). Eponymy, obscurity, Twitmyer, and Pavlov. Journal of the History of the Behavioral Sciences, 18, 255–262.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  7. Dallenbach, K. M. (1959). Twitmyer and the conditioned reflex. American Journal of Psychology, 72, 633–638.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  8. Diamond, I. T. (1979). The subdivisions of neocortex: A proposal to revise the traditional view of sensory, motor, and association areas. Progress in Psychobiology and Physiological Psychology, 8, 1–43.

    Google Scholar 

  9. Finger, S. (1994). Origins of neuroscience: A history of explorations into brain function. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  10. Franz, S. I. (1902). On the functions of the cerebrum: I. The frontal lobes in relation to the production and retention of simple sensory-motor habits. The American Journal of Physiology, 8, 1–22.

    Google Scholar 

  11. Franz, S. I. (1906). Observations of the functions of the association areas (cerebrum) in monkeys. Journal of the American Medical Association, 47, 1464–1467.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  12. Franz, S. I. (1907a). Über die sogenannte Dressurmethode für Zentralnervensystems-untersuchungen. [About the so-called training method for the study of the central nervous system.] Zentralblatt für Physiologie, XXL, 583–584.

  13. Franz, S. I. (1907b). On the functions of the cerebrum: The frontal lobes. In R. S. Woodworth (Ed.), Archives of psychology (pp. 1–64). New York, NY: The Science Press.

    Google Scholar 

  14. Franz, S. I. (1912a). New phrenology. Science, 35, 321–328.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  15. Franz, S. I. (1912b). Handbook of mental examination methods. New York, NY: The Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease Publishing.

    Google Scholar 

  16. Franz, S. I. (1932). Shepherd Ivory Franz. In C. Murchison (Ed.), A history of psychology in autobiography (Vol. 2, pp. 89–113). Worcester, MA: Clark University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  17. Furedy, J. J. (2004). Pavlovian George Windholz (1931–2002): An exemplar of scholarly “observation and observation” and a critical contributor to psychology, and hence to behavioral neuroscience. Integrative Physiological and Behavioral Science, 39, 139–147.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  18. Gantt, W. H. (1928a). Lectures on conditioned reflexes (Vol. 1: Ivan Petrovitch Pavlov). New York, NY: International Publishers.

  19. Gantt, W. H. (1928b). Lectures on conditioned reflexes (Vol. 2, Conditioned reflexes and psychiatry, Ivan Petrovitch Pavlov). New York, NY: International Publishers.

  20. Hamilton, A., & Jackson, J. B. (1969). UCLA on the move, during fifty golden years, 1919–1969. Los Angeles, CA: Ward Ritchie Press.

    Google Scholar 

  21. Kalischer, O. (1907a). Zur Funktion des Schläfenluppens des Grosshims. Eine nue Hörprüfungsmethod bei Hunden; zugleich ein Beitrag zur Dressur als physiologischer Untersuchungsmethode. [Toward the function of the temporal lobes of the cerebral cortex. A new auditory-test-method in dogs as well as a contribution of training as a physiological method.] Sitzungsberichte der phys-math, Klasse, Bericte der Königlichen reussischen Akademie der Wissenschaften, Berlin, 204–217. [This reference was copied verbatim from Windholz and Lamal, 1993, p. 349.]

  22. Kalischer, O. (1907b). Einige bemerkungen über meine dressurmethode. [Some comments about my training method.] Zentralblatt für Physiologie, XXL, 585–586.

  23. Krech, D. (1964). Cortical localization of function. In L. Postman (Ed.), Psychology in the making: Histories of selected research problems (pp. 31–72). New York, NY: Alfred A. Knopf.

    Google Scholar 

  24. Kruger, L., & Swanson, L. W. (2007). 1710: The introduction of experimental nervous system physiology and anatomy by Fransçois Pourfour du Petit. In H. Whitaker, C. U. M. Smith, & S. Finger (Eds.), Brain, mind and medicine: Essays in eighteenth century neuroscience (pp. 99–113). New York, NY: Springer.

    Google Scholar 

  25. Lachman, S. J. (1963). History and methods of physiological psychology. Detroit, MI: The Hamilton Press.

    Google Scholar 

  26. Lashley, K. S. (1929). Brain mechanisms and intelligence. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.

    Google Scholar 

  27. McGaugh, J. J. (2000). Memory—A century of consolidation. Science, 287, 248–251.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  28. Misiak, H. (1961). The philosophical roots of scientific psychology. New York, NY: Fordham University Press.

    Book  Google Scholar 

  29. Murchison, C. (1929). The psychological register. Worcester, MA: Clark University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  30. Neuberger, M. (1981). The historical development of experimental and spinal cord physiology before Flourens. (E. Clarke, Trans., Ed., Supplemented). Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press.

  31. Rosenzweig, M. R. (1959). Salivary conditioning before Pavlov. American Journal of Psychology, 72, 628–633.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  32. Thomas, R. K. (1970). Mass function and equipotentiality: A reanalysis of Lashley’s retention data. Psychological Reports, 27, 899–902.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  33. Thomas, R. K. (1999). Franz, Shepherd Ivory. In J. A. Garraty & M. C. Carnes (Eds.), American national biography (Vol. 8, pp. 405–406). New York, NY: Oxford University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  34. Thomas, R. K. (2000). Franz, Shepherd Ivory. In A. E. Kazdin (Ed.), Encyclopedia of psychology (Vol. 3, pp. 396–398). New York, NY: Oxford University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  35. Thomas, R. K. (2007). Recurring errors among recent history of psychology textbooks. American Journal of Psychology, 120, 477–495.

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  36. Thomas, R. K. (2011, October). Shepherd I. Franz (1874-1933) and Karl S. Lashley (1890-1958): An example of unfair historical recognition? Invited presentation at the Center for History of Psychology, University of Akron, Akron, OH.

  37. Thomas, R. K. (2012). Flourens, Pierre. In R. W. Rieber (Ed.), Encyclopedia of the history of psychological theories (Part 6) (pp. 442–443). New York, NY: Springer-Verlag.

    Google Scholar 

  38. Thomas, R. K. (in press-a). Brain and intelligence. In H. L. Miller (Ed.). Encyclopedia of theory in psychology. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE.

  39. Thomas, R. K. (in press-b). Shepherd Ivory Franz (1874–1933). In J. L. Pate (Ed.), Southern society for philosophy and psychology presidents and presidential addresses. Amsterdam, The Netherlands: Rodopi Press.

  40. Uttal, W. R. (2003). The new phrenology: The limits of localizing cognitive processes in the brain. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

    Google Scholar 

  41. Windholz, G. (1997). Ivan P. Pavlov: An overview of his life and psychological work American Psychologist (Special issue, “Commemorating Pavlov’s Work”), 52, 941–946.

  42. Windholz, G., & Lamal, P. A. (1993). Vagaries of science: Priority, independent discovery, and the quest for recognition. The Psychological Record, 43, 339–350.

    Google Scholar 

  43. Wolfe, R. J. (2001). Tarnished idol: William Thomas Green Morton and the introduction of surgical anesthesia, a chronicle of the ether controversy. San Anselmo, CA: Norman Publishing.

    Google Scholar 

  44. Yakolev, P. I. (1959). Bechterev. In M. A. B. Brazier (Ed.), The central nervous system and behavior: Transaction of the first conference, February 23, 24, 25, and 26, 1958 (pp. 187–210). Madison NJ: Madison Printing.

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Author Note

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.

Author information

Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Roger K. Thomas.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

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

Download citation

Keywords

  • Animal training
  • Animal learning
  • Brain ablation
  • Brain extirpation
  • Brain lesion
  • History brain research
  • Learning
  • Memory
  • Priority in psychology
  • Priority in science