Oskar Vogt (April 6 1870 - July 30 1959 in Freiburg im Breisgau) was a German physician and neurologist. He was born in Husum - Schleswig-Holstein. Vogt studied medicine at Kiel and Jena, obtaining his doctorate from Jena in 1894.
Vogt was married to the French neurologist Cécile Vogt-Mugnier, whom he met in Paris while he was there working with Joseph Jules Dejerine and his wife, Augusta Marie Dejerine-Klumke (who collaborated with him). The Vogt couple also collaborated for a long period of time, usually with Cécile as the primary author.
Oskar founded an Institute für Hirnforschung (Institute for Brain research) in Berlin, Germany. There, he had students from many countries who went on to prominent careers including Korbinian Brodmann and Brockhaus.
Vogt has been misrepresented as having accepted the Nazis. It is true that he was the personal practitioner of the Krupp family (canon facturer in the Ruhr Area, Essen). Fritz Krupp supported him financially particularly when the Vogts, driven away by the Nazis (1937), had to move to Neustadt (Black Forest) and founded a new institute. In fact, Vogt was a socialist, involved with the factions led by Mme Fessard who knew him personally, and with the guesdist element of the French socialist party (Jules Guesde was at the far left wing of this party). He had never been a Communist, although he did interact with the Soviets on a number of occasions. They sent him several researchers, including N. V. Timofeev-Resovskij (whom Solzhenitsyn met in the Gulag). He helped to establish the brain institute in Moscow.
The Vogts had two daughters, both accomplished scientists in their own rights. Marthe Vogt (1903-2003) was a neuropharmacologist who became a Fellow of the Royal Society and a Professor at Cambridge. Marguerite Vogt (1913-2007) started as a developmental geneticist working in Drosophila, then moved to the US in 1950. She developed methods to culture poliovirus with Renato Dulbecco. She was a faculty member at The Salk Institute for Biological Studies where she worked on viral transformation and cellular immortalization of cancer cells.
In 1925 Vogt accepted an invitation to Moscow where he was assigned the establishment of an institute for brain research under the auspices of the health ministry in Moscow. In 1945 Lenin's brain was still in the Institute of Berlin. According to claims of two Belgians, L. Van Bogaert and A. Dewulf, the Soviets carried out a military operation specifically to retrieve the brain before the Americans obtained it, and succeeded in doing so. The brain is now at Moscow's Institute.
The main contribution of the Vogts was La myelocytoarchitecture du thalamus du cercopithèque from Cécile alone (1909). The great contribution of Cécile has been that the partition of the lateral region (lateral mass) should rely on the territories (the spaces occupied) of the main afferents. She distinguished from back to front the lemnical radiation and a particular nucleus, in front of it the cerebellar (prelemniscal) radiation with another nucleus and more anteriorly the "lenticular" radiation. This system still describes the subdivision of the thalamus (Percheron, 1977, Percheron et al. 1996). Her paper was followed by Die cytoarchitechtonik des Zwishenhirns de Cercothipiteken from Friedmann (1911) traducing in cytoarchitectonic terms, her partition.
A paper published in common in 1941 (Thalamus studien I to III), devoted to the human thalamus, represented an important step in partitioning and naming thalamic parts. The anatomy of the thalamus from Hassler (one of their students) was published in 1959, the year of the death of Oskar. It is not known weither the master accepted the excessive partition and unnecessary complication of this work that was an atlas dedicated to stereotacticans. The paper of 1941 was much simpler.
Their study of human pathological cases led them to discover particular striatal diseases and to the fact that the central region (centre médian-parafasicular) was degenerating after striatal region, i.e. that there was a strong centralo-striatal connection.
The Vogt-Vogt syndrome, an extrapyramidal disturbance with double sided athetosis occurring in early childhood, is named after the couple.