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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 ?
(42) As part of its anti-evangelical mission, the society promulgated such "useful knowledge" as phrenology and animal magnetism.
Both phrenology and moral management were bound up with the nineteenth-century theory of faculty psychology.
Although I enjoyed most of the movie's illuminating scenes that forced movie goers to remember and reflect on the great enslavement (Maafa) of African descended people, the dinner table scene surrounding the pseudo-science of phrenology left a lasting and deep imprint on the brain inside my skull.
(6) A believer in phrenology, Whitman made regular references to it in his writings, so it is no surprise that he was interested in having his brain studied after his death.
BEETHOVEN'S EARS When Beethoven died several years after Haydn, and with the interest in phrenology still booming, there were similar concerns, with one gravedigger claiming he had been offered a thousand florins to "deposit the head of Beethoven in a certain place".
"Having never played a villain before, DiCaprio relishes in the opportunity, spewing fire and brimstone," Stern said of his performance in "Django." "His phrenology speech delivered towards the end of the filmawhile wielding a hammeragot so intense that he accidentally split his hand open while giving it, and that's the cut that was used in the film."
Different monthly topics are associated with pioneer life during the year--making wine, coopering, livestock care, phrenology, or heirloom gardening.
Pseudo-science too-The Thing about Thugs uses the 19th-century fad of phrenology, or skull- reading.
The second chapter of this section provides a fascinating account of phrenology, national character and governance.
It was, rather, a popular and diverse field of inquiry, composed of investigations in a number of different fields, including craniology, ethnology, physiology, mesmerism, and phrenology. Indeed, the cultural power of racial science derived not from its status as a hegemonic or institutional science, but from its widespread popularization through print and performance.
However, as he also points out, the same can be said of phrenology. The fact that something is there to be measured does not mean that it has the cause and effect that one would like it to.
development of not only seemingly tenuous sciences like phrenology or