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J Hist Neurosci. 1998 Aug;7(2):108-24.

An element of thought: phosphorus and mental philosophy in the nineteenth century.

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Department of Psychiatry, McGill University, Montreal, Canada.


Georges Cabanis (1757-1808), through his writings on the relation of the physical and moral, or psychological, aspects of man, left a legacy that made the study of mental activity a part of physiology. His views on the importance of phosphorus to the function of the brain thrust that element into a prominent stream of research that involved many investigators in several countries. Although that particular stream eventually dried up, its influence remained: by the beginning of the twentieth century basic medical science had become well set on studies of the mind-body relationship.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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