Biological Therapies: Psychosurgery

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  • Created by: izzy
  • Created on: 13-06-13 14:06


The term psychosurgery refers to systematically damaging the brain in order to change behaviour. For instance in the 1950s the amygdala was lesioned in over-aggressive people to reduce levels of violence. In relation to psychopathology the most dramatic use of psychosurgery was the frontal lobotomy used throughout the 1940s and early 1950s as a treatment for schizophrenia. The operation involved cutting pathways between higher and lower centres in the brain. In the standard procedure developed by Freeman and Watts this was done by inserting a scalpel through a hole drilled through the skull and waggling it up and down.

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