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Excerpt from The Mechanism of the Brain: And the Function of the Frontal Lobes
In 1881 I had occasion to Observe a remarkable feature relating to dogs which had undergone extirpation of the sigmoid gyrus of both sides. I was struck by the fact that there was an appreciable difference in behaviour between those animals in which the extirpation had been limited chie y to the sigmoid gyrus, affecting either the whole or a part of that convolution, and other animals in which the operation had involved more than the sigmoid gyrus, having extended forwards, in front of the presylvian fissure. I had performed these operations with the special Object Of elucidating, as far as possible, the problem of functional compensations within the cerebrum and the anatomical limits within which cortical compensation was possible. The experiments had perforce to be numerous, and it was also necessary that I should keep the animals under Observation for a long time after the operations. Thus it came about, apart from any stimulus to further investigation to be found in the scanty literature Of the subject, that there arose in my mind a strong desire to attack the problem of the function of all that cerebral area which is situated in front of the presylvian fissure, a function that was wrapped in utter darkness. Afterwards came the great discussion between Hitzig, Munk, and Goltz, and thenceforwards I applied myself seriously to this particular inquiry.
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