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Psychosurgery

A method to cure psychological disorders through brain surgery. One of the more salient examples of psychosurgery (and one that’s seen most often in movies) was the use of prefrontal lobotomies often done in the 1940s and 1950s to reduce aggressive behavior in people with mental illnesses.

Psychosurgery has a long history and may have started as far back as 40,000 years ago when it was done to get rid of demons or the “stone of madness” (it was believed that there was some little part of the brain responsible for mental illness so if you just cut that part out you cured the patient). In 1894 the first “rational” (or scientific)
psychosurgery was conducted by a Swiss surgeon. Today psychosurgery is still done but it’s radically different; today it involves lasers, very precise work on specific areas of the brain, and can be done without opening the skull.

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