Rorschach radiology

Last revised by Ashesh Ishwarlal Ranchod on 14 May 2024

Rorschach radiology refers to those times in radiology when we come across images that look odd, comical or surprisingly beautiful, and one may even wonder whether there is a subliminal message within.

The original Rorschach test deals with the interpretation of inkblots as a method of psychological assessment.  Here we challenge you to submit your own radiological "ink blots" and show us what you saw in them.

This is the first verse from a poem 1 written by Irwin Freundlich (1930-2017), an erudite American radiologist, which describes the underlying idea of the confrontation of Roentgen with Rorschach:

"Many things have been done, many battles won,
by the followers of the ray.
And the pioneers' light has improved our sight.
But to a man, we confuse if we can,
The realm of psychology with that of pathology,
The Rorschach and the Roentgen'gram." 

History and etymology

Hermann Rorschach (1884-1922) was a Swiss psychiatrist who devised his eponymous inkblot test, which he described in his book, Psychodiagnostik (English: Psychodiagnostics), first published in 1921 2. He died the following year from appendicitis.

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