The River of Consciousness - "The Other Road: Freud as Neurologist" Summary & Analysis

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Summary

Though everyone remembers Sigmund Freud as the father of psychoanalysis, this chapter focuses on his earlier work as a neurologist and anatomist, which Sacks sees as both a precursor and a key to his later work. Freud's studies on the forms, origins, and evolution of the nervous system began with research on lampreys and crayfish before Freud moved into clinical neurology in the 1880s, while continuing his anatomical studies. Freud was dissatisfied with contemporary theories which attributed the brain with a mechanical quality, treating it "as a sort of ingenious but idiotic machine, with a one-to-one correlation between elementary components and functions, denying it organization or evolution or history" (82).

Freud studied neurology from 1882 to 1885 at the Vienna General Hospital before setting up his own practice in 1886 after working with "the great neurologist Jean-Martin Charcot in Paris" (83). He continued to...

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This section contains 1,038 words
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