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Journal Articles Journal of the Neurological Sciences Year : 2017

The brain of René Descartes (1650): A neuro-anatomical analysis

Isabelle Huynh-Charlier
  • Function : Author
Philippe Froesch
  • Function : Author
Russell Shorto
  • Function : Author
Nadia Benmoussa
  • Function : Author
Saudamini Deo
  • Function : Author
Anaïs Augias
  • Function : Author
Lou Albessard
  • Function : Author


The skull of René Descartes is held in the National Museum of Natural History since the 19th c. Up to date, only anthropological examinations were carried out, focusing on the cranial capacity and phrenological interpretation of the skull morphology. Using CT-scan based 3D technology, a reconstruction of the endocast was performed, allowing for its first complete description and inter-disciplinary analysis: assessment of metrical and non-metrical features, retrospective diagnosis of anatomical anomalies, and confrontation with neuro-psychological abilities of this well-identified individual.
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Philippe Charlier, Isabelle Huynh-Charlier, Philippe Froesch, Russell Shorto, Nadia Benmoussa, et al.. The brain of René Descartes (1650): A neuro-anatomical analysis. Journal of the Neurological Sciences, 2017, 378, pp.12-18. ⟨10.1016/j.jns.2017.04.031⟩. ⟨mnhn-02106813⟩
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