Jules Joseph Déjerine Versus Pierre Marie

Front Neurol Neurosci. 2011;29:162-169. doi: 10.1159/000321784. Epub 2010 Oct 7.


Pierre Marie was one of Charcot's favorite pupils, and had hoped to succeed his great mentor at the Hospice de La Salpêtrière as professor of diseases of the nervous system. Charcot's friend and collaborator Alfred Vulpian was a senior physician at the Hôpital Bicêtre, a somewhat less prestigious hospital, and Jules Déjerine was his student. When Charcot died, Marie was too junior to be even a candidate, and Fulgence Raymond won the election in front of Déjerine and Brissaud. Déjerine succeeded Raymond in 1910, and Marie had to wait Déjerine's death in 1918 to get his position at La Salpêtrière. Before World War I, Pierre Marie made the localization of aphasia the centerpiece of his personal feud with Jules Déjerine. In his extensive research on aphasia, Marie sharply contested the generally accepted views of Paul Broca and Carl Wernicke on the localization of the speech centre, while Déjerine strongly defended more localizationist views. This debate lacked a clear winner, but was fundamental because it questioned the relevance of anatomical findings in understanding higher brain function.

Publication types

  • Biography
  • Historical Article
  • Portrait

MeSH terms

  • Aphasia / history*
  • History, 19th Century
  • History, 20th Century
  • Hospitals / history*
  • Humans
  • Mentors
  • Neurology / history*
  • Paris

Personal name as subject

  • Jules Joseph Déjerine
  • Pierre Marie