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Many leading physicians and school superintendents, including Samuel Gridley Howe in the United States, believed in phrenology. Originally called craniology, this science was concerned with the functions of the brain. Franz Joseph Gall (1758-1828), a highly respected brain anatomist, identified 39 distinct areas of the brain associated with intellectual functions. Phrenologists went on to say that moral, personality, and intellectual characteristics are also determined by the shape of the skull, which determines the shape of the brain. Once a highly respected "science," phrenology was discredited as scientists found no relationship between the size and shape of the cranium and the degree of intelligence.

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