The historical practice of trepanation

By Marc Wilson In Psychology

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15th September, 2012
Though psychology as a distinct discipline is typically considered to date back to 1879 when Wilhelm Wundt established the first psychology laboratory, its subject matter goes much further back. Our understanding of how people think and behave shapes how we deal with problems in how people think and behave, and a good example of this is the millennia-old practice of trepanation (or trephination) – making holes in the skull to alleviate psychological symptoms. In my psychology lectures on this for first-years, I show some skulls that have been holed, some square and raggedly saw-toothed at ...

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