Differing from other psychiatric centers in Paris, it was responsible for the assessment of police detainees with behavioral disturbances and, in consequence,
held a heavy caseload of delirium, dementia, and chronic hallucinatory psychosis. Gaétan de Clérambault (1872-1934) was appointed director in 1921, but had been associated with the Special Infirmary since 1905,4 developing a general theory of psychopathology based on the case mix – the theory of mental automatisms. Influenced Inhibitors,research,lifescience,medical by Wernicke’s associationist school (see ref 3), de Clérambault viewed psychosis as the sum of core neurological symptoms, each related to dysfunction in a specific brain system (see ref 5 for further details). Aberrant neural activity was propagated from one brain region to another along anatomical pathways, the linked neurological symptoms forming stereotyped neuropsychiatrie syndromes. Georges de Morsier studied under de Clérambault and carried an interest in psychiatric Inhibitors,research,lifescience,medical phenomena, particularly hallucinations, to Geneva. In 1930 he published a critique of Bleuler’s and Freud’s psychological Inhibitors,research,lifescience,medical theories of hallucinations,
in which he argued that GSK690693 manufacturer future advances could only be made through the neurophysiological study of hallucinations, although the techniques required were not yet available.6 His interim solution was to use lesion evidence as an indirect guide to dysfunctional neurophysiology and, in the aftermath of de Clérambault’s suicide Inhibitors,research,lifescience,medical of 1934, he published two homages to his former mentor using this method. The later work of 1938, Les Hallucinations: étude Oto-neuro-ophtalmologique,7 covered hallucinations in all
sensory modalities and opened with a dedication to de Clérambault’s memory. The earlier work of 1936 focused on visual hallucinations and honored de Clérambault by paraphrasing his mental automatism terminology in the title, Inhibitors,research,lifescience,medical Visual Automatisms: Retrochiasmatic Visual Hallucinations).1 The topic seemed appropriate, as visual hallucinations had been relatively unexplored in de Clérambault’s later work. However, there was another reason for de Morsier to focus on visual hallucinations alone – he had just developed a novel anatomical of theory. The early 20th century visual system Although the division of the visual system into visuosensory and visuopsychic components was first formulated in the 19th century, it was the Australian neurologist, psychiatrist, and pathologist, Alfred Walter Campbell (1868-1937) who in 1905 provided anatomical evidence in support of the functional dichotomy.8 Campbell had described two cyto- and myeloarchitectonically distinct regions in the occipital lobe of the human brain. The striate cortex received connections from the lateral geniculate nucleus (the geniculo-striate pathway) and sent fibers to the surrounding cortex, which in turn sent projections to the pulvinar, temporal, and frontal lobes.