Localizationism, Antilocalizationism, and the Emergence of the Unitary Construct of Consciousness in Luigi Luciani (1840–1919)

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Abstract

This article aims to present the construct of unitary consciousness as it emerged in the work of the Italian physiologist Luigi Luciani (1840–1919). We highlight how Luciani’s work, conducted during the late 19th and early 20th centuries, integrated experimental research with the clinical observation of patients, enabling him to develop elaborate theoretical conceptions. From our historical analysis of Luciani’s main works, an innovative model of unitary consciousness emerges with respect to his contemporary context. We also propose Luciani’s model as a contribution to the modern debate on consciousness. An analysis of his work, not considered up to now, leads us to reevaluate the assumption of an ancient opposition between localization and antilocalization in the history of cerebral localization.

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