François Leuret

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François Leuret (29 December 1797 5 January 1851) was a French anatomist and psychiatrist who was a native of Nancy.

A psychiatrist is a physician who specializes in psychiatry, the branch of medicine devoted to the diagnosis, prevention, study, and treatment of mental disorders. Psychiatrists are medical doctors, unlike psychologists, and must evaluate patients to determine whether their symptoms are the result of a physical illness, a combination of physical and mental ailments, or strictly psychiatric. A psychiatrist usually works as the clinical leader of the multi-disciplinary team, which may comprise of psychologists, social workers, occupational therapists and nursing staff. Psychiatrists have broad training in a bio-psycho-social approach to assessment and management of mental illness.

Nancy, France Prefecture and commune in Grand Est, France

Nancy is the capital of the north-eastern French department of Meurthe-et-Moselle, and formerly the capital of the Duchy of Lorraine, and then the French province of the same name. The metropolitan area of Nancy had a population of 434,565 inhabitants at the 2011 census, making it the 20th largest urban area in France. The population of the city of Nancy proper was 104,321 in 2014.


He studied medicine under Jean-Étienne Dominique Esquirol (1772–1840), and was later chief physician at the Bicêtre in Paris. Two of his better known students were Paul Broca (1824–1880) and Louis Pierre Gratiolet (1815–1865). Leuret was also chief-editor of Annales d’hygiène publique et de médecine légale, an influential journal of hygiene and forensic medicine.

Jean-Étienne Dominique Esquirol French psychiatrist

Jean-Étienne Dominique Esquirol was a French psychiatrist.

Paris Capital of France

Paris is the capital and most populous city of France, with an area of 105 square kilometres and an official estimated population of 2,140,526 residents as of 1 January 2019. Since the 17th century, Paris is one of Europe's major centres of finance, diplomacy, commerce, fashion, science, and the arts.

Paul Broca French anthropologist

Pierre Paul Broca was a French physician, anatomist and anthropologist. He is best known for his research on Broca's area, a region of the frontal lobe that is named after him. Broca's area is involved with language. His work revealed that the brains of patients suffering from aphasia contained lesions in a particular part of the cortex, in the left frontal region. This was the first anatomical proof of localization of brain function. Broca's work also contributed to the development of physical anthropology, advancing the science of anthropometry.

Leuret is remembered for his work in comparative anatomy of the brain with Louis Gratiolet. The two men did extensive topographic mapping of the folds and fissures of the cerebral cortex. Leuret coined the name "fissure of Rolando" after Italian anatomist Luigi Rolando (1773–1831) for what is now known as the central sulcus of the brain.

Comparative anatomy

Comparative anatomy is the study of similarities and differences in the anatomy of different species. It is closely related to evolutionary biology and phylogeny.

Brain organ that serves as the center of the nervous system in all vertebrate and most invertebrate animals

The brain is an organ that serves as the center of the nervous system in all vertebrate and most invertebrate animals. The brain is located in the head, usually close to the sensory organs for senses such as vision. The brain is the most complex organ in a vertebrate's body. In a human, the cerebral cortex contains approximately 14–16 billion neurons, and the estimated number of neurons in the cerebellum is 55–70 billion. Each neuron is connected by synapses to several thousand other neurons. These neurons communicate with one another by means of long protoplasmic fibers called axons, which carry trains of signal pulses called action potentials to distant parts of the brain or body targeting specific recipient cells.

Cerebral cortex Part of a mammals brain

The cerebral cortex, also known as the cerebral mantle, is the outer layer of neural tissue of the cerebrum of the brain, in humans and other mammals. It is separated into two cortices, by the longitudinal fissure that divides the cerebrum into the left and right cerebral hemispheres. The two hemispheres are joined beneath the cortex by the corpus callosum. The cerebral cortex is the largest site of neural integration in the central nervous system. It plays a key role in memory, attention, perception, awareness, thought, language, and consciousness.

Leuret was an important figure in the early days of French psychiatry. He stressed the importance of using a rational and humane approach in treatment of the mentally ill, and also believed that the criminally insane were sick individuals who were incapable of controlling their behavior. He felt that the origins of mental illness were unknown, and that it was wrong to define madness from only a somatic standpoint. Leuret's psychiatric theories put him at odds with other French physicians, particularly those who thought that the source of mental illness could be localized to a specific part of the brain's anatomy. He was also scornful of the speculative theory of phrenology.

Psychiatry is the medical specialty devoted to the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of mental disorders. These include various maladaptations related to mood, behaviour, cognition, and perceptions. See glossary of psychiatry.

Phrenology study of human characteristics according to shape of the skull

Phrenology is a pseudoscience which involves the measurement of bumps on the skull to predict mental traits. It is based on the concept that the brain is the organ of the mind, and that certain brain areas have localized, specific functions or modules. Although both of those ideas have a basis in reality, phrenology extrapolated beyond empirical knowledge in a way that departed from science. The central phrenological notion that measuring the contour of the skull can predict personality traits is discredited by empirical research. Developed by German physician Franz Joseph Gall in 1796, the discipline was influential in the 19th century, especially from about 1810 until 1840. The principal British centre for phrenology was Edinburgh, where the Edinburgh Phrenological Society was established in 1820.

Selected writings

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