Lecturer's Précis - Grashey (1885)

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First published online 08:59 BST 1st May 2002, Copyright Derek J. Smith (Chartered Engineer). This version [2.1 - link to graphics] dated 09:00 BST 2nd July 2018

An earlier version of this material appeared in Smith (1996; Chapter 7). It is repeated here in simplified form and supported with hyperlinks.


Grashey (1885)

See firstly the supporting commentary for this material, and Lichtheim (1885).

In an 1885 paper not published in English until 1989 (De Bleser, 1989), the German psychiatrist H. Grashey presented his own variations to the Lichtheim-style diagram. These were prompted by observations of his patient JV, a 27 year old brewer who in 1883 had broken his skull in a fall. As a result of these injuries, JV displayed a curious form of anomia. As with all anomias, he was able to recognise objects but not to name them verbally. (Speech and language therapists will accept, for example, a combing motion with the hands as indicating understanding of what a comb is and does, even if the word itself cannot be uttered.) However, JV was able to write down the names of presented objects, even though he could not speak them, whereupon he was then able to read back what he had just written - out loud - thus achieving the required utterance by a round-about route! Grashey's interpretation of these observations was that knowing by sight, knowing by reading, writing, and naming, were independent processes capable of being damaged independently. Grashey then presented his arguments in "a diagram, as has now become general custom" (De Bleser, 1989:517), as shown below. It is another circle-and-arrow diagram, but offering slightly more detail than Lichtheim's. The essence of what it shows is brought out in the following quotation:

"One could thus conclude that not only centre B of object images but also centre A of sound images must be intact. It would then seem that there is an impairment of the route connecting the two centres, the direction from A to B being spared, and the opposite direction, from B to A, showing an interruption." (De Bleser, 1989:520.)


Grashey's (1885) Analysis of Patient JV: By carefully analysing the symptoms described above, Grashey isolated seven anatomically separate processing modules, connected as shown below by a number of uni- and bi-directional information transfer pathways. Here are the centres he identified .....

  • A = Centre of Sound Images
  • B = Centre of Object Images
  • C = Centre of Written Symbols
  • D = Centre of Motor Images of Speech
  • F = Phonatory and Articulatory Control
  • G = Centre of Motor Images of Writing
  • H = Handwriting Control

If this diagram fails to load automatically, it may be accessed separately at



Redrawn from a reproduction of the 1885 German original in Bartels and Wallesch (1996:55). This version Copyright © 2002, Derek J. Smith.




Bartels C & Wallesch CW (1996). Nineteenth century accounts of the nature of the lexicon and semantics. In Code C, Wallesch CW, Joanette Y, & Lecours AR (Eds). Classic Cases in Neuropsychology. Hove: Erlbaum.

De Bleser, R. (1985). Grashey's (1885) Ueber Aphasie ...... Cognitive Neuropsychology, 6:515-546. [A recent translation of Grashey, 1885.)

Grashey, H. (1885). Ueber Aphasie und ihre Beziehung zur Wahrnehmung. Archiv fur Psychiatrie und Nervenkrankheiten, 16:654-688. [And reproduced in Cognitive Neuropsychology, 6:515-546 - see De Bleser, 1985.]

Smith, D.J. (1996). Memory, Amnesia, and Modern Cognitive Theory. Cardiff: UWIC. [ISBN: 1900666006]

Recommended Reading

"Classic Cases in Neuropsychology"

Code et al (Eds.) (1996)

To see an abstract, or to order this book, click here