Pierre Paul Broca (1824 - 1880)

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 on June 28, 1824 – son of Benjamin Broca (Napoleonic surgeon)
  • 1859 – Birth of son Auguste Broca (French surgeon)
  • Died on July 9, 1880 in 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.

Major Publications

  • 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]


Final year MBBS student at Curtin Medical School. Keen interest in internal medicine and neurology, medical education, and integrating specialist healthcare into rural medical practice.

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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