Sigmund Freud Reviews ‘Atlas of the Human Brain’ by Edward Flatau (1894)


Fig. 2. A sample plate (Probetafel) from Flatau’s Atlas of the Human Brain by Karger, Berlin, left, depicting the ventral cerebral facies (author’s archive). Flatau demonstrating his method for macroscopically photographing fresh human brains, right; from a technical article traced from a citation by Pollack (courtesy: Universitätsbibliothek Hamburg).


The Review by Freud

Dr. Flatau hereby offers physicians and students an atlas of the human brain, which depicts the various full views and some of the most important brain sections in eight plates (11 figures). These plates – from photographs of fresh brain – give an almost three-dimensional impression of the cerebral facies, in clear and characteristic sections, overall deserving to be designated as a superb teaching aid, suitable as a totally reliable reference for both self-study, in the case of not having access to fresh material, and for comparisons at autopsy and the like.

A leading ‘schematic plate’ in this atlas attempts to give an overview of our knowledge on the course of fiber pathways in the central nervous system in 13 multi-colored drawings, incorporating the known accounts of Mendel, Bekhterev and Edinger on this theme, and continuing with the opposing views of Golgi and Ramón [y Cajal] on the structure of the nervous tissue. The 27 text pages are devoted to the explanation of these schematic drawings. The price of the work (12 marks) is minimal if one considers its breadth and beauty. Author and publisher deserve the appreciation of the medical community for this valuable work.

Sigmund Freud

[Atlas of the Human Brain and the Course of Nerve Fibres. By Ed. Flatau. With a Foreword by Prof. E. Mendel. S. Karger Verlag, Berlin 1894. (Critical Reviews and Literary Notices.)]

 via @WeAreGeek


Triarhou LC. A review of Edward Flatau’s 1894 Atlas of the Human Brain by the neurologist Sigmund Freud. (2011). Eur Neurol. 65(1):10-5.


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