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October 16, 1943


JAMA. 1943;123(7):418-420. doi:10.1001/jama.1943.02840420030011

Prefrontal lobotomy, surgical division of the central core of the white matter within the frontal lobes, is empirically designed to sever the connections of the frontal cortex and especially to interrupt the projections which connect the frontal regions with the thalamus and hypothalamus. The consensus is that the frontal lobes are concerned with imagination, the social sense, self consciousness and similar mental activities. While the frontal lobes are important for the psychic life of man, the concept of psychic centers similar to those for vision, for motor control of the limbs and for speech has not been established. Moniz1 believes that certain cortical areas associated with other areas in the diencephalon and metencephalon correspond to certain psychic manifestations. Apparently loss of one frontal lobe can be functionally replaced by the activity of the other. In man one frontal lobe can be extirpated without producing psychic changes. In a case