Biology: The Dynamic Science (Mind...

4th Edition
Peter J. Russell + 2 others
ISBN: 9781305389892



Biology: The Dynamic Science (Mind...

4th Edition
Peter J. Russell + 2 others
ISBN: 9781305389892
Textbook Problem

Discuss Concepts In the 1930s and 1940s, prefrontal lobotomy, in which neural connections in the frontal lobes of both cerebral hemispheres were severed, was used to treat behavioral conditions such as extreme anxiety and rebellious- ness. Although the procedure calmed patients, it had side effects such as apathy and a seriously disrupted personality. In view of the information presented in this chapter, why do you think the operation had these effects?

Summary Introduction

To review:

The reason due to which lobotomy generates side effects in the patients.


Frontal lobotomy, also known as leucotomy, was a very common procedure in 1930s and 1940s to treat several mental disorders. About 20,0000 operations were performed in the United States (US) only. During this procedure, the frontal lobe of the brain is destructed because it is involved in personality development.


Egas Moniz was a pioneer neurologist who advocated psychosurgery. He observed that frontal lobes of the brain play an important role in behavior and personality development. Interference with function of the frontal lobe was shown to alter the course of many mental disorders, like schizophrenia. It was also observed that the destruction of connections between the frontal lobe and the rest of the brain was relatively easy.

Though the lobotomy procedure calmed down mentally disordered patients, it changed their personality altogether. The side-effects of lobotomy have been well-documented in two medical cases. In one case, the patient Phineas Gage suffered an accident in which most of his frontal lobe was damaged...

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