Ludwig Edinger

Ludwig Edinger (1855 – 1918) was a German neurologist and anatomist.

The founder of comparative neuro-anatomy. Edinger coined the terms ‘gnosis‘ and ‘praxis‘ which were later adopted in psychological descriptions of agnosia and apraxia.


  • Born 13 April 1855
  • Doctor of Medicine, University of Strassburg
  • co-founder of the University of Frankfurt
  • 1914 – first German professor of neurology
  • Died 26 January 1918

Medical Eponyms

  • Edinger–Westphal nucleus: Edinger first demonstrated the nucleus in the foetus in 1885; and by Westphal in the adult in 1887.

Key Medical Attributions


Major Publications

  • Edinger L. Archiv für Psychiatrie und Nervenkrankheiten, Berlin, 1885; 16: 858-889. [Edinger–Westphal nucleus]
  • Edinger L. Die Endigung der Hautnerven bei Pterotrachea. Archiv fur mikroskopische Anatomie. 1877;14:171–179.
  • Edinger L. Ueber der Verlauf der Cen- tralen Hirnnerventahen mit Dermanatra-tion von Pra¨paraten. Neurol Cbl 1885;4:309.
  • Edinger L. Giebt es central entstehende Schmerzen? Dtsch Z Nervenheilkd 1891;1:262–282.
  • Edinger L. Die Ausfu¨hrwege der Hypophyse. Arch Mikr Anat 1911;78:496–505.


  • Prithishkumar IJ. Ludwig Edinger (1855-1918): founder of modern neuroanatomy. Clin Anat. 2012 Mar;25(2):155-7. [PMID 21800368]
  • Kozicz T et al. The Edinger-Westphal nucleus: a historical, structural, and functional perspective on a dichotomous terminology. J Comp Neurol. 2011 Jun 1;519(8):1413-34. [PMC3675228]

eponymictionary CTA


the person behind the name

BA MA (Oxon) MBChB (Edin) FACEM FFSEM. Emergency physician, Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital.  Passion for rugby; medical history; medical education; and asynchronous learning #FOAMed evangelist. Co-founder and CTO of Life in the Fast lane | Eponyms | Books | Twitter |

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