Article Text

Download PDFPDF
Sir David Ferrier MD, FRS
  1. J M S Pearce
  1. 304 Beverley Road, Analby, Hull HU10 7BG, UK; email:

    Statistics from

    Request Permissions

    If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.

    Carpenter ranked Ferrier’s cerebral localisation among the greatest advances in the physiology of the nervous system made in the past 50 years.1 It formed a direct link between Jackson and Sherrington, with both of whom he had worked.

    Born in Aberdeen, Ferrier studied there under Alexander Bain, on whose advice in 1864 he visited Heidelberg, to study psychology with Helmholtz and Wundt. Wundt had just (1862) completed the Beiträge zur theorie der sinneswahrnehmung that contained the first statement of his “physiological psychology”. Ferrier completed his medical training at Edinburgh where Thomas Laycock,2–3 inclined him towards neurology.

    He worked in London from 1880, and was appointed Professor of Neuropathology, King’s College Hospital, in 1889. But his major research began earlier at The West Riding Lunatic Asylum, Wakefield. There he showed that stimulation of the cerebral cortex could produce movements and fits, and that cerebral functions were localised in definable discrete areas.

    Before him, in 1866, Friedrich Albert Lange (1828–75) had distinguished between …

    View Full Text