"I could see, and yet, mon, I could na` see" : William Macewen, the agnosias, and brain surgery

Macmillan, Malcolm 2004, "I could see, and yet, mon, I could na` see" : William Macewen, the agnosias, and brain surgery, Brain and cognition, vol. 56, no. 1, pp. 63-76, doi: 10.1016/j.bandc.2004.05.007.

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Title "I could see, and yet, mon, I could na` see" : William Macewen, the agnosias, and brain surgery
Author(s) Macmillan, Malcolm
Journal name Brain and cognition
Volume number 56
Issue number 1
Start page 63
End page 76
Publisher Elsevier Inc
Place of publication New York, N.Y.
Publication date 2004-10
ISSN 0278-2626
Keyword(s) history of neuroscience
visual agnosia
William Macewen
brain surgery
Summary Two little noticed cases in which William Macewen used symptoms of visual agnosia to plan brain surgery on the angular gyrus are reviewed and evaluated. Following a head injury, Macewen’s first patient had an immediate and severe visual object agnosia that lasted for about 2 weeks. After that he gradually became homicidal and depressed and it was for those symptoms that Macewen first saw him, some 11 months after the accident. From his examination, Macewen concluded that the agnosia clearly indicated a lesion in “the posterior portion of the operculum or in the angular gyrus.” When he removed parts of the internal table that had penetrated those structures the homicidal impulses disappeared. Macewen’s second patient was seen for a chronic middle ear infection and, although neither aphasic nor deaf, was ‘word deaf.’ Slightly later he became ‘psychically blind’ as well. Macewen suspected a cerebral abscess pressing on both the angular gyrus and the first temporal convolution. A large subdural abscess was found there and the symptoms disappeared after it was treated. The patients are discussed and Macewen’s positive results analysed in the historical context of the dispute over the proposed role of the angular gyrus as the visual centre.
Language eng
DOI 10.1016/j.bandc.2004.05.007
Field of Research 110999 Neurosciences not elsewhere classified
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2004, Elsevier Inc.
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30002643

Document type: Journal Article
Collections: Faculty of Health
School of Psychology
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