The musical centers of the brain: Vladimir E. Larionov (1857–1929) and the functional neuroanatomy of auditory perception

Lazaros C. Triarhou, Tatyana Verina

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


In 1899 a landmark paper entitled “On the musical centers of the brain” was published in Pflügers Archiv, based on work carried out in the Anatomo-Physiological Laboratory of the Neuropsychiatric Clinic of Vladimir M. Bekhterev (1857–1927) in St. Petersburg, Imperial Russia. The author of that paper was Vladimir E. Larionov (1857–1929), a military doctor and devoted brain scientist, who pursued the problem of the localization of function in the canine and human auditory cortex. His data detailed the existence of tonotopy in the temporal lobe and further demonstrated centrifugal auditory pathways emanating from the auditory cortex and directed to the opposite hemisphere and lower brain centers. Larionov's discoveries have been largely considered as findings of the Bekhterev school. Perhaps this is why there are limited resources on Larionov, especially keeping in mind his military medical career and the fact that after 1917 he just seems to have practiced otorhinolaryngology in Odessa. Larionov died two years after Bekhterev's mysterious death of 1927. The present study highlights the pioneering contributions of Larionov to auditory neuroscience, trusting that the life and work of Vladimir Efimovich will finally, and deservedly, emerge from the shadow of his celebrated master, Vladimir Mikhailovich.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)143-160
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Chemical Neuroanatomy
StatePublished - Nov 1 2016


  • Auditory cognitive neuroscience
  • Cortical localization
  • Music perception
  • Temporal lobe tonotopy
  • Vladimir M. Bekhterev (1857–1927)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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