Lost Your Mind? Search Your Head.

We know where our heart resides, but what’s the seat of our mind? Phrenology was a Victorian “science,” which held that the brain was the organ of the mind and that its various spheres were represented on the skull.

It grew out of the research of a German doctor, Franz Gall, in 18th century Vienna, who, along with his collaborators, located 37 mental traits. Each was believed to correspond to a region of the brain in the form of bumps and grooves and was proportional to a person’s propensities and proclivities.

A phrenologist would, therefore, determine an individual’s character simply, by examining the shape of his or her head, running his fingers over its ridges and depressions and more rarely, employing a craniometer (a version of a caliper) to measure its size.


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