“Thinking” Brain Removed (Aug, 1935)

And you thought the Stepford Wives was a work of fiction. In Dr. Spurling’s wonderful fantasy world all women will have the “thinking portion” of their brain removed, and he might actually get a date.

“Thinking” Brain Removed

LIKE a fairy tale of medicine is the description of an operation which removed nearly the entire “thinking” portion of a woman’s brain, changing her entire personality. For the first year after the operation the woman was almost childishly gay and happy. Later came more mature changes, which improved her power of concentration, memory, and endurance. The right prefrontal lobe and most of the left lobe of the brain were removed by Dr. Glen Spurling of Louisville University’s School of Medicine.

14 comments
  1. Kryten007 says: July 18, 200711:54 am

    Hey Dr. Spurling: there’s a guy in Germany with a bad haircut and a little mustache that I’m sure will give you a job…

  2. Firebrand38 says: July 18, 20071:39 pm

    I see, in ignorance we play the Hitler card. The procedure is actually known as a hemispherectomy http://en.wikipedia.org…

    Your “Hey Dr. Spurling” actually served as the Army’s first Chief of Neurosurgery at Walter Reed in WW2 http://www.whonamedit.c…

  3. Village Idiot says: July 18, 20074:06 pm

    This was almost a double-hemisphinctwhateverectomy!

    Where do you get Hitler cards??

  4. Blurgle says: July 18, 20077:02 pm

    Dr. Spurling also treated George Patton when he broke his neck in an accident in 1945. Patton died, but that wasn’t that unusual in cases of paralysis.

  5. nlpnt says: July 18, 20077:17 pm

    Where do you get Hitler cards??

    The same mail-order places that offered Hitler stamps in the ’50s?

  6. Kryten007 says: July 18, 20079:00 pm

    All right, point taken and I do apologize. I indeed hadn’t heard of him before, and you must admit this article doesn’t make his work sound very heroic. Besides, I didn’t say he’d *take* the job… :)

  7. bill says: September 6, 20077:20 am

    But the part of this article scientifically speaking is “Why?” Why remove a humans brain? To see what happens? What problems did she have to remove the brain?

  8. Blurgle says: October 30, 200710:40 pm

    Even now hemispherectomies are done as a last-ditch effort to end life-threatening seizures that don’t respond to drugs or other treatments. If the alternative is having a seizure that lasts so long that the patient suffocates….

  9. docca says: December 24, 20071:30 pm

    Firebrand38: that is called Godwin’s Law (http://en.wikipedia.org…)

  10. Rrrowlf says: December 28, 200712:38 pm

    I thought a hemispherectomy was simply dividing the two hemispheres of the brain,
    not removing chunks of the frontal lobes where the personality resides.

  11. Dr. Weird says: March 28, 20087:04 pm

    Thinking brain? I did not know there was a “thinking portion” in a womans brain! Did you?

  12. nardo says: March 31, 200811:07 pm

    I know right?! But this was back in the days before science knew better, I believe that’s when they started letting them drive too. If only we knew then what we now know

  13. Mike says: November 7, 20088:38 pm

    It was published because it was an especially difficult task, since the thinking portion of a woman’s brain is so tiny!

    (lol calm down, that’s the 1930′s for ya!)

  14. Tony says: January 18, 201210:03 pm

    She wasn’t very smart in the FIRST PLACE ! How smart can someone be to let them cut out part of your brain ? It doesn’t mention any reason why like cancer so maybe – let’s see what this does ?

    Does anybody remember the Challenger jokes, what’s this button do ?

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