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Localization and Its DiscontentsA Genealogy of Psychoanalysis and the Neuro Disciplines$
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Katja Guenther

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780226288208

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: May 2016

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226288345.001.0001

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In the Operating Room

In the Operating Room

Wilder Penfield’s Stimulation Reports and the Discovery of “Mind”

Chapter:
(p.153) Chapter Six In the Operating Room
Source:
Localization and Its Discontents
Author(s):

Katja Guenther

Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226288345.003.0006

This chapter charts the transformation of Foerster's practice in the work of Wilder Penfield. Penfield came to study with Foerster in Breslau in 1928 and brought Foerster's epilepsy operation back to North America. There it formed the basis of Penfield's clinical work. In contrast to Foerster, Penfield re-tasked his operation technique in order to map the brain. I argue that the reemergence of the localization project after a thirty-year hiatus can be explained by Penfield's de-composition of the reflex. Like Schilder, Penfield tested both sides of the reflex arc separately, studying in turn sensory and motor responses. As such Penfield could sideline the systemic aspects of the reflex that had structured earlier investigations and made localization so unconvincing. And like Schilder, this encouraged Penfield to posit a self-transparent patient who could provide insight into sensory states. As this chapter shows, the self-transparency of Penfield's introspective patient increasingly became the focus of his research, as in the 1950s he concentrated his efforts on tracking down an ever-elusive “mind.” 168

Keywords:   Wilder Penfield, homunculus, neurosurgery, Montreal Neurological Institute, Rockefeller Foundation, epilepsy, stimulation report, self-transparent subject, localization

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