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October 20, 1923


JAMA. 1923;81(16):1364. doi:10.1001/jama.1923.02650160038014

Medical students have been taught for some time that the cerebral centers which originate voluntary motor impulses are located in the ascending frontal convolution immediately in front of the precentral fissure, a center being distinguishable for each muscular grouping of the body. The importance of this doctrine is exemplified in the modern surgical treatment of many cases of jacksonian epilepsy. By trephining the skull over the affected center and removing the source of irritation there, such as a meningeal tumor or a spicule of bone, some phenomenal cures have been instituted, attesting the great significance of the doctrine of cerebral localization of motor function in practice. More recently, however, physiologists have begun to question somewhat the validity of the experimental evidence commonly adduced in this connection. There were reports that the responses elicited from a given cortical center were not always the same; thus, if a point giving a certain