Chapter

Memory disorders and epilepsy during the nineteenth century

German E. Berrios

in Epilepsy and Memory

Published in print June 2012 | ISBN: 9780199580286
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191739408 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199580286.003.0003
Memory disorders and epilepsy during the nineteenth century

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This chapter examines the study of epilepsy and memory in the nineteenth century. It first considers the difficulty posed for the history of medicine by the changing meanings of currently familiar terms: ‘epilepsy’ and ‘memory’ were understood quite differently from the nineteenth century to the twenty-first century. Medical history cannot, therefore, be expected to trace a simple line of discovery from past to present. Next, the chapter places thinking about epilepsy and memory in the nineteenth century in the context of the creation of ‘alienism’, the forerunner of neurology and psychiatry, the concept of the ‘neuroses’, and the development of new techniques of numerical description and of languages categorizing mental symptoms. Finally, it considers aspects of the study of epilepsy, of memory, and of their interaction in France in the nineteenth century.

Keywords: epilepsy; memory; medical history; alienism; neuroses; France

Chapter.  6423 words. 

Subjects: Neuroscience

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