Mind, Brain, Body, and Behavior

The Foundations of Neuroscience and Behavioural Research at the National Institutes of Health


Farreras, I.G.,
Hannaway, C.,
Harden, V.A.

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(reprinted 2010)


"This volume, in my view, should prove to be a landmark publication. Farreras and her colleagues have thrown available light onto what will prove to be a rich field of historical research and historically informed science policy."
- Wade E. Pickren, Journal of the History of the Behavioral Sciences

This volume breaks new ground in assessing the intramural research conducted at the United States National Institute of Mental Health and the National Institute of Neurological Diseases and Blindness (today the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke) in the 1950s. The research conducted in these institutes was pioneering and laid the foundation for current neuroscience and behavioral research. Dr. Ingrid Farreras uses the records of that time and also oral histories conducted with retired institute scientists to present the institutional context in which the research was conducted. Topics in her discussion include the history of the United States Public Health Service, the creation of the two institutes at the National Institutes of Health, the organization of their extramural and intramural research programs, and brief summaries of the research that the fifteen laboratories and branches of both institutes conducted during the 1950s. Twelve noted scientists involved in neurological and mental health research provide their unique, first-hand accounts of their experiences at the NIH. This publication also contains four appendices providing information about the organizational structure of the two institutes, the scientists who worked there, citations of illustrative landmark papers that were published based on their research, and selected primary and secondary resources related to the history of these institutes. The aim of this volume is to foster continuing additional descriptive and analytical research on the history of biomedical sciences in the areas of neurology and mental health in the mid twentieth century.