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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 ?
The day will also feature many examples of 19th century medical history, with costumed historians depicting medical experts of the period, including a traveling dentist and a phrenologist. In the 19th century, dentists were often itinerants, offering cleaning, filling, and extraction of teeth, as well as making dentures and selling tooth powders and brushes as they travelled from town to town.
physician and phrenologist Johann Spurzheim directed his readers to
As read by the craniologist Samuel Morton and, subsequently, by phrenologists such as George Coombe and the Fowler brothers, heads confirmed racial identity and type, serving to fix immutable racial difference in support of white supremacy.
Now, I consider that the phrenologists have omitted an important thing in not pushing their investigations from the cerebellum through the spinal canal.
The first extreme would put mental health practice on the level of snake oil salesmen, phrenologists, or other forms of quackery.
His opponents range from bumbling phrenologists, who believed bumps on the skull determined intelligence, to overt racists, who peddled fables of long-heeled Africans unable to stand on their own.
The thorough-bred wanderer's idiosyncracy I presume to be a composition of what phrenologists call "inhabitiveness" and "locality" equally and largely developed.
In fact, it is a recommendation from a mid-nineteenth-century German police expert who had absorbed the theories of phrenologists. In 1845 he suggested that the population should be surveyed according to this discipline's definitions and that everyone having the tendency to crime and violence written on their face, or rather their skull, was to be imprisoned or executed even before committing a criminal act.
By Kathleen Hom Nineteenth-century phrenologists believed that the shape and size of various parts of the brain, as reflected in a personAAEs skull, determined personality.
It is an indisputable but conveniently overlooked fact that trait-and-factor career counseling was widely practiced in the United States at least 35 years before Frank Parsons provided this service and that the practitioners were phrenologists. This article proposes the reasons why career counseling arose in phrenology at that time and argues that the eminent phrenologist Nelson.
These included phrenologists, herbalists, hydropaths, lay midwives, spiritual healers and purveyors of home remedies and patent medicines (Martyr 2002).
Various skull shapes and sizes were pored over by nineteenth and early twentieth century phrenologists placing origins throughout the Pacific and into Asia, South Asia, Arabia, and North Africa.