Letter: eponyms revisited

Some years ago I published a paper in the journal on dementia diagnosis which examined the use of an overlapping figure test of visuoperceptual function, a figure originally described in 1917 by the German neuropsychiatrist Walter Poppelreuter (1886-1939) and hence known as the “Poppelreuter figure”.

At that time, 2011, I was unaware of Poppelreuter’s subsequent collaboration with the Nazi regime. In light of this, and the ethical imperative to expunge from eponymic recognition those involved in Nazi activities, my view is that the term “Poppelreuter figure” should no longer be used, to be replaced, following the principle recommended by Kondziella and Zeidman, with “overlapping figure, formerly Poppelreuter figure”.

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