Leucotomy means sectioning of white matter. In the original operation a wide cut was made in each frontal lobe to sever the connections between the frontal cortex and the dorsomedian thalamic nuclei. Modifications have aimed at interrupting specific connections of the frontal lobe or at isolating restricted cortical areas believed to be important in generating emotional reactions. For example, a bimedial leucotomy was developed to isolate the medial and inferior portions of the frontal lobes.1 Other operations isolate the inferior or orbital cortex by incision or stereotaxis,2–4 or remove the cingulate gyrus under direct vision or destroy it stereotactically.
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