Frontal lobes

Violence, mental illness, and the brain — A brief history of psychosurgery: Part 1 — From trephination to lobotomy

Surgical Neurology International
Article Type: 
Published Date: 
Friday, April 5, 2013

Abstract — Psychosurgery was developed early in human prehistory (trephination) as a need perhaps to alter aberrant behavior and treat mental illness. The “American Crowbar Case" provided an impetus to study the brain and human behavior. The frontal lobe syndrome was avidly studied. Frontal lobotomy was developed in the 1930s for the treatment of mental illness and to solve the pressing problem of overcrowding in mental institutions in an era when no other forms of effective treatment were available. Lobotomy popularized by Dr.