(redirected from phrenological)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
Related to phrenological: phrenologist


An obsolete doctrine asserting each mental faculty is located in a definite part of the cerebral cortex, the size of which part varies in a direct ratio with the development and strength of the corresponding faculty; this size is indicated by the external configuration of the skull.
Synonym(s): craniognomy
[phreno- + G. logos, study]
Farlex Partner Medical Dictionary © Farlex 2012
A medical ‘discipline’ popular in the 18th to 19th century, which was based on the now-quaint belief that there was a relationship between the structure of the skull and mental traits
Segen's Medical Dictionary. © 2012 Farlex, Inc. All rights reserved.


A theory, taken seriously for a time in the 18th century, that human characteristics were reflected in the relative growth of parts of the brain and that these could be detected by palpation of the skull bumps which, it was claimed, conformed to the shape of the brain.
Collins Dictionary of Medicine © Robert M. Youngson 2004, 2005


Franz J., German-Austrian anatomist, 1758-1828.
Gall craniology - an obsolete doctrine. Synonym(s): phrenology
Medical Eponyms © Farlex 2012
References in periodicals archive ?
(43.) American Phrenological Journal and Miscellany 1 (1 March 1839), 200.
understanding of idiocy relied on a phrenological model of disability--a
Phrenological magazine and New York literary review.
Phrenology was a science deeply imbricated in antebellum performance cultures: popular among both the elite and working classes, phrenological readings of celebrities were widely reported in the press and readings were often performed by phrenologists in public.
Mill) and phrenological notions are merely "suggestive."
physiognomical and phrenological emphases on bodily depth and on the
One popular late nineteenth century baby book, for example, included a phrenological chart--so that parents could read their baby's head bumps for revelations about character.
(28) Leslie Atzmon, "Arthur Rackman's Phrenological Landscape: In-Betweens, Goblins, and Femme Fatales," Design Issues 18 (2002), p.67, pp.
She replaced public readings of the Bible with Dickens's Oliver Twist and supplemented the sole title in the prison library--Richard Baxter's Call to the Unconverted Sinner--with popular novels, travel books, and phrenological texts.