The Problem of Localization of Functions in the Cerebral Cortex

  • Aleksandr Romanovich Luria


Many generations of research workers have given their attention to the problem of the brain as the seat of complex mental activity and to the associated problem of the localization of functions in the cerebral cortex. Nevertheless, the solution of these problems has depended not only on the development of technical methods of studying the brain, but also on the theories concerning mental processes predominant at any particular time. For this reason, endeavors to localize cerebral cortical functions were for a long time restricted to futile attempts to “fit the system of abstract concepts of modern psychology into the material structure of the brain” (I. P. Pavlov, Complete Collected Works, Vol. 3. p. 203).* While these attempts yielded much valuable empirical material, they naturally failed to provide a scientific solution to the problem. It is only in recent years that, because of advances in modern (especially Russian and Soviet) physiology and materialistic psychology, there has been a breakthrough in the approach to this problem, new principles for its solution have evolved, and new evidence has accumulated to enrich our ideas of the functional organization of the human brain in health and disease.


Cerebral Cortex Mental Function Functional System Voluntary Movement Radical Revision 
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© Consultants Bureau Enterprises, Inc., and Basic Books, Inc. 1966

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  • Aleksandr Romanovich Luria

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