Lobotomy on Retro Report: First, Do No Harm

The New York Times‘s Retro Report has produced a new video on the history of lobotomy, First, Do No Harm. As Retro Report describes, For centuries scientists have studied the brain and still our understanding, particularly when it comes to the treatment for those suffering with severe, often untreatable mental illness, remains elusive. As scientists around … Continue reading Lobotomy on Retro Report: First, Do No Harm

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New Articles Exploring Soviet Lobotomy and Freud in Cuban Psychiatry

The Spring 2017 issue of the Bulletin of the History of Medicine is now online. Included in this issue are two articles that may be of interest to AHP readers. The articles explore the 1950 ban on lobotomy in the Soviet Union and the fall of Freud in Cuban psychiatry in the latter half of the … Continue reading New Articles Exploring Soviet Lobotomy and Freud in Cuban Psychiatry

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Mical Raz in The Psychologist: Looking Back: Interpreting Lobotomy – The Patients’ Stories

The January 2014 issue of The Psychologist, the flagship publication of the British Psychological Society (BPS), is now online and includes an article on patient experiences of lobotomy. In “Looking Back: Interpreting Lobotomy – The Patients’ Stories” historian of medicine Mical Raz describes how patients and their families experienced the lobotomies preformed by Walter Freeman in … Continue reading Mical Raz in The Psychologist: Looking Back: Interpreting Lobotomy – The Patients’ Stories

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New Book: Mical Raz’s The Lobotomy Letters

Physician and historian of medicine Mical Raz‘s new book on the history of American psychosurgery is now in print. Raz’s book, The Lobotomy Letters: The Making of American Psychosurgery, explores the history of this controversial procedure through the letters of patients, physicians, and families. The volume is described as follows: The rise and widespread acceptance … Continue reading New Book: Mical Raz’s The Lobotomy Letters

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Psychiatry, Photography & Lobotomy Bibliography

As a followup to our recent post about Miriam Posner‘s work on the lobotomy photographs of Walter Freeman, I would like to draw AHP‘s readers attention to a recent posting on Posner’s blog, Academitron. For anyone interested in learning more about the role of photography in the history of psychiatry/psychology, Posner has posted “Psychiatry, Photography, … Continue reading Psychiatry, Photography & Lobotomy Bibliography

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Lobotomy Photography as Medical Evidence

Science and the Arts, a project of NPR’s Science Friday, has posted a slideshow of Dr. Walter Freeman‘s before and after photographs of lobotomy patients. The slideshow is based on the work of Miriam Posner, Mellon Postdoctoral Research Associate at Emory University, who also narrates the slideshow. Prosner recently completed her Yale University dissertation on … Continue reading Lobotomy Photography as Medical Evidence

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Audio and Video On Lobotomy

In 1960, a 12-year-old boy named Howard Dully was lobotomized by Walter Freeman in order to “cure” bad behavior that was alleged by his step-mother. Astonishingly, no psychosis or other serious mental illness was present in Dully, or even alleged, just bad behavior. Dully was just one of 18,000 Americans who were lobotomized over a … Continue reading Audio and Video On Lobotomy

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Neurophilosophy on Lobotomy

The blog “Neurophilosophy” has an interesting item on the history of prefrontal lobotomy. It is a rather tendentious piece, to be certain, but it contains lots of interesting details. Surprisingly (to me, anyway) it says that the first lobotomies were performed in the 1890s. Of course, the modern procedure was invented by Antonio Egas Moniz … Continue reading Neurophilosophy on Lobotomy

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The ‘gay cure’ experiments that were written out of scientific history

This article first appeared on Mosaic and is republished here under a Creative Commons licence. Robert Heath claimed to have cured homosexuality by implanting electrodes into the pleasure centre of the brain. Robert Colvile reports on one of the great forgotten stories of neuroscience. For the first hour, they just talked. He was nervous; he’d … Continue reading The ‘gay cure’ experiments that were written out of scientific history

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Recent Blog Post: “Surgery for Desperados” On Neurosurgical Solutions to Criminality

In a recent post on the history of medicine blog Remedia historian of science Delia Gavrus documents efforts to reform criminals through brain surgery. These surgeries, undertaken from the late-nineteenth century through the 1920s, helped set the stage for the advent of the lobotomy in the 1930s. As Gavrus notes, The belief that surgery on the skull … Continue reading Recent Blog Post: “Surgery for Desperados” On Neurosurgical Solutions to Criminality

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