Pierre Paul Broca

Pierre Paul Broca (1824 – 1880) was a French physician, anatomist and anthropologist.

Best known for his research on a region of the frontal lobe involved with language (Broca’s area) and if affected could present with aphasia, providing the first anatomical proof of the localization of brain function.

Broca’s work also contributed to the development of physical anthropology, advancing the science of anthropometry.

  • Born 28 June 1824 – son of Benjamin Broca (Napoleonic surgeon)
  • 1859 – Birth of son Auguste Broca (French surgeon)
  • Died 9 July 1880 Paris, France

Medical Eponyms
  • Broca aphasia
  • Broca area
  • Broca angle – occipital angle of parietal lobe
  • Broca formula (Broca rule) – an adult man should weigh as many kilos as he is centimeters above one meter.

Key Medical Attributions

Major Publications
  • Broca PP. Perte de la parole; ramolissement chronique et destruction partielle du lobe antérieur gauche de cerveau. Bulletins de la Société d’anthropologie de Paris, 1861; 2: 235-238.
  • Broca PP. Remarques sur le siège de la faculté du langage articulé, suivies d’une observation d’aphémie (perte de la parole). Bull Soc Anat 1861;6:330–357. [Full Text]
  • Broca PP. Nouvelle observation d’aphémie produite par une lésion de la moitié postérieure des deuxième et troisième circonvolution frontales gauches. Bull Soc Anat 1861;36:398–407.
  • Broca PP. Nouvelle observation d’aphémie produit par une lésion de la moitie posterieure des deuxième et trisième circonvoltion frontales. Bulletin de la Société anatomique de Paris, 1863, 38: 379-385.
  • Broca PP. Sur le siège de la faculté du langage articulé. Bull Soc Anthropol 1865;6:337–393.
  • Broca PP. Mémoires d’anthropologie. Tome Premiere. 1871
  • Broca PP. Mémoires d’anthropologie. Tome Deuxieme. 1874
  • Broca PP. Mémoires d’anthropologie. Tome Troisieme. 1877 (edited by Broca A)

  • In Memoriam: Paul Broca of Paris (1824-1880). Edinburgh Medical Journal. 1880
  • Koehler PJ, Bruyn GW, Pearce JMS. Neurological Eponyms. Oxford University Press 2000. pp194-200
  • Pearce JM. Broca’s aphasiacs. Eur Neurol. 2009;61(3):183-9. [PMID 19129706] [Full text]
  • Pearce JM. Aphasia or aphemia. J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry. 2001 Jun; 70(6): 801.
  • Androutsos G, Diamantis A. Paul Broca (1824-1880): founder of anthropology, pioneer of neurology and oncology. J BUON. 2007 Oct-Dec;12(4):557-64. [PMID 18067221]

eponymictionary CTA


the person behind the name

Associate Professor Curtin Medical School, Curtin University. Emergency physician MA (Oxon) MBChB (Edin) FACEM FFSEM 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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