Constantin Baron Economo von San Serff of Greek parentage was brought up in Austrian Trieste where he was brought in his year of life. Initially he was identified as a psychiatrist often by completed his medical training but he entered into neurology and he worked on the anatomy and physiology of the midbrain, pons, and trigeminal nerve pathway. In 1917 he started his monumental studies on encephalitis lethargica which established his fame world wide. He published effusively on this condition but he also worked on cytoarchitectural studies of the brain. He even was interested in the problem of future human brain evolution and even postulated on general principles of what he called "progressive cerebration."

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