The Brain Power of Man: Has He Two Brains or Has He One?, by Brown-Séquard
On the Continent, a major figure of double-brain neuroascesis was Charles-Édouard Brown-Séquard (1817–1894), Claude Bernard’s successor at the Collège de France. While Wigan flourished before Broca’s discovery of cerebral asymmetry, Brown-Séquard wrote at a time when language ability had already been located in the left hemisphere (Aminoff 1993, Clarke 1987, Harrington 1987). That, however, did not prevent Brown-Séquard from becoming Wigan’s main advocate in the second half of the nineteenth century.
He recognized hemispheric functional differences, but instead of considering them as innate and structural, he believed they were attributable to educational failures. “We find,” Brown-Séquard (1874b, 10) declared, “that it is owing to that defect in our education that one-half of our brain is developed for certain things, while the other half of the brain is developed for other things.” So the issue was clear-cut: “If we have two brains, why not educate both of them?” (1). Indeed, “if children were thus trained, we would have a sturdier race, both mentally and physically” (Brown-Séquard 1874a, 333). Training the brain would not only improve its efficacy but also increase its size, since “every organ which is put into use for a certain function becomes developed” (Brown-Séquard 1874b, 15–16).