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Epilepsy and Memory$
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Adam Zeman, Narinder Kapur, and Marilyn Jones-Gotman

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199580286

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199580286.001.0001

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Memory disorders and epilepsy during the nineteenth century

Memory disorders and epilepsy during the nineteenth century

(p.51) Chapter 3 Memory disorders and epilepsy during the nineteenth century
Epilepsy and Memory

German E. Berrios

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines the study of epilepsy and memory in the nineteenth century. It first considers the difficulty posed for the history of medicine by the changing meanings of currently familiar terms: ‘epilepsy’ and ‘memory’ were understood quite differently from the nineteenth century to the twenty-first century. Medical history cannot, therefore, be expected to trace a simple line of discovery from past to present. Next, the chapter places thinking about epilepsy and memory in the nineteenth century in the context of the creation of ‘alienism’, the forerunner of neurology and psychiatry, the concept of the ‘neuroses’, and the development of new techniques of numerical description and of languages categorizing mental symptoms. Finally, it considers aspects of the study of epilepsy, of memory, and of their interaction in France in the nineteenth century.

Keywords:   epilepsy, memory, medical history, alienism, neuroses, France

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