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Ludwig Edinger

EDINGER, LUDWIG (1855–1918), German neuroanatomist and neurologist; considered the founder of modern neuroanatomy. Edinger was born in Worms on the Rhine, Germany, and began his academic studies at Heidelberg University. He completed his medical studies at the University of Strasbourg and became a licensed physician in 1877. In 1879 he began teaching at the University of Giessen and in 1883 he moved to Frankfurt to practice neurology. That same year he started lecturing on the structure of the central nervous system. In 1885 he joined the Senckenberg Research Institute in Frankfurt and conducted further studies in neurology, particularly in brain anatomy. That year marked the appearance of Zehn Vorlesungen ueber den Bau der nervoesen Zentralor gane, later translated into English as Twelve Lectures on the Structure of the Central Nervous System, his most famous text on the structure of the nervous system.

By 1907 his division had become one of the most modern neurological departments of the time and he became professor of neurology at Frankfurt University. In his research Edinger described the ventral and dorsal spinocerebellar tract, clarified polioencephalon and neoencephalitis, as well as the paleo-cerebellum and the neo-cerebellum. His studies and research appeared in many publications, and his name became associated with several parts of the human brain that he elucidated, including "Edinger's nucleus," "the Edinger fibers," and "Edinger's tract."

Edinger was also a gifted artist and achieved considerable notoriety in the field of hypnosis.


S.R. Kagan, Jewish Medicine (1952), 381f.; Biographisches Lexikon der hervorragenden Aerzte (1932), 349–50.

Sources: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.