Apraxia and beyond: life and work of Hugo Liepmann

Cortex. 2003 Jun;39(3):509-24. doi: 10.1016/s0010-9452(08)70261-2.


Nearly 100 years after their publication Hugo Liepmann's ideas are still influential for today's neuropsychology. This influence is, however, restricted to a small, albeit central, portion of his work. Cognizance of their wider biographical and scientific context may help to bring about a deeper understanding of their significance. This paper provides a comprehensive review of Liepmann's life and work. In the first part of this paper I try to give an impression of his life, his personality and his style as a clinician and as a scientific writer. The second part is a review of his ideas on cerebral localization of psychological function, and the third an account of his writings on apraxia. Finally, I briefly consider Liepmann's legacy and argue that the less well known parts of his writings are at least as topical today as are his famous papers on apraxia.

Publication types

  • Biography
  • Historical Article
  • Portrait

MeSH terms

  • Apraxias / classification
  • Apraxias / history*
  • Apraxias / physiopathology*
  • Dominance, Cerebral
  • Germany
  • History, 19th Century
  • History, 20th Century
  • Humans
  • Neural Pathways
  • Neurosciences / history

Personal name as subject

  • Hugo Liepmann