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German Retrospect

  • William W. Ireland (a1)

Finding that there is a difficulty in describing abnormal forms of the ear, Prof. Schwalbe, of Strasbourg (“Archiv. für Psychiatrie,” xxvii. Band, 3 Heft), has arranged an exact method by which variations in the external ear may be tabulated. His articles are illustrated by 19 woodcuts of ear forms. Dr. Schwalbe cites a number of papers from German, French, and Italian sources, which show the extraordinary diligence with which the outward form of this organ has been studied. He remarks that Gredenigo has enumerated 23 categories of ears, and examined 25,000 men and women in Turin, 800 lunatics, and 467 criminals. This observer found very little difference in the form of the ears in these three classes, while Vali found the Darwinian tubercle thrice as common in insane persons and idiots. Schwalbe thinks this difference of result must be due to race, as he finds a difference on this point between the inhabitants of Lower Alsace and those of Lorraine, Upper Alsace, the Palatinate and Baden. Schaffer found that 55 per cent. of Englishmen had the Darwinian tubercle. This shows that when the form of the ear in lunatics and criminals is compared with sane people, they should all belong to the same race. Schwalbe does not state any conclusion, but observes at the end of his paper that many so-called abnormalities in the ear, which are treated as proofs of degeneration, fall within the bounds of normal variations, and many of them are marks of imperfect development of the organ or have analogies with the animals nearest in structure to man.

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See German Retrospect, “Journal of Mental Science,” Jan., 1889. p. 604.

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The British Journal of Psychiatry
  • ISSN: -
  • EISSN: 2514-9946
  • URL: /core/journals/the-british-journal-of-psychiatry
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German Retrospect

  • William W. Ireland (a1)
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