Regarded as the father of psychoanalysis, Sigmund Freud was a neurologist. Despite suffering criticism, psychoanalysis remains influential in the fields of psychology and psychiatry; such is the influence Freud has on humanities. Scholars believe that Freud is one of the most influential personalities of the 20th century and that his impact is comparable to that of Marxism and Darwinism.
Neurosurgeon Ben Carson is credited with many pioneering neurosurgical procedures. He became a Library of Congress “Living Legend” and received the Presidential Medal of Freedom. He later contested in the 2016 presidential primaries, has authored numerous books, was a Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, and earned 60 honorary doctorates.
Born to Indian-origin parents in the U.S., Sanjay Gupta is an acclaimed neurosurgeon and medical writer. He has also had a successful stint as a medical reporter for CNN, covering medical issues at wars and disasters. He has played himself in the movie Contagion and is a skilled accordion player.
Sam Sheppard went from being a popular doctor at the Bay View Hospital to a murder suspect. After spending a decade behind bars, convicted of bludgeoning his wife, Marilyn Reese, to death in their bedroom and sentenced to life, he was eventually acquitted due to a lack of sufficient evidence.
British middle-distance athlete and neurologist Sir Roger Gilbert Bannister was the first athlete to run a mile in less than four minutes. Before achieving such feat, Bannister set a British record in the 1500 metres during the 1952 Summer Olympics. In the medical field, Bannister became a neurologist and Master of Pembroke College, Oxford.
Indian-American neurosurgeon and author Paul Kalanithi was a brilliant student, who initially studied both English literature and human biology at Stanford and later studied medicine at Yale. He died of metastatic lung cancer but not before penning the memoir When Breath Becomes Air, a New York Times bestseller, released posthumously.
Born to doctor parents, Oliver Sacks followed in their footsteps to become a neurologist. His successful treatment of people suffering from sleeping sickness in the 1920s inspired the book Awakenings and the Academy Award-nominated movie based on it. He also studied complexities involved in Tourette syndrome.
Neuroscientist Wilder Penfield redefined medical science with his innovative way of treating epilepsy patients through surgery. He would note down his patients’ responses when they would be conscious under local anesthesia. He also founded the Montreal Neurological Institute, but was unable to cure his sister’s brain cancer.
Rita Levi-Montalcini was an Italian neurologist whose discovery of nerve growth factor earned her the 1986 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. Throughout her life, Levi-Montalcini's work in neurobiology earned her several other honors and awards, including the Golden Plate Award from the American Academy of Achievement and the European Academy of Sciences' Leonardo da Vinci Award.
Cognitive psychologist and Harvard professor Howard Gardner is known for introducing the theory of multiple intelligences, first mentioned in his book Frames of Mind. Born to Jewish immigrants in the US, Gardner was a talented pianist in his younger days and later studied social relations and developmental psychology at Harvard.
Australian author Colleen McCullough soared to fame with her bestselling novel The Thorn Birds, which was also made into a hit miniseries. Fans also lover her Masters of Rome and Carmine Delmonico series of novels. A former neuropsychologist, she has previously taught at the Yale School of Medicine.
American neurologist Walter Jackson Freeman II is remembered for co-developing the technique of prefrontal lobotomy as a treatment for mental ailments, along with neurosurgeon James W. Watts. Though many of his patients died due to the treatment, he is still considered a pioneer in the field of neurosurgery.
Born in Germany, neurosurgeon Ludwig Guttmann fled the country during the Nazi regime and later settled in the UK. What started as his effort to rehabilitate injured soldiers, materialized into the launch of the Paralympic Games to encourage sports among the disabled. He also worked extensively on paraplegia.
Canadian neurologist, educator, scientist, astronaut and photographer Roberta Bondar CC OOnt FRCPC FRSC is noted as the first female astronaut and the first neurologist of Canada to travel into space. She flew as part of the Space Shuttle Discovery mission STS-42 and performed over forty experiments in Spacelab. She later served as head of an international team of researchers at NASA.
Nobel Prize-winning neurobiologist Eric Kandel is known for his research on the role of synapses in memory and learning. An Austrian Jew, he left his country with his family and moved to the U.S. in the wake of anti-Semitism. A doctor, specializing in psychiatry, he later taught at Columbia University.
A neurosurgeon and best-selling author, Henry Thomas Marsh is also the subject of two BBC documentaries, Your Life in Their Hands and The English Surgeon, the later being based on his pioneering work in the field neurosurgery in Ukraine. A senior consultant neurosurgeon till his retirement from St George's Hospital, London, he specializes in performing brain operation under local anesthesia.
Pediatric neurosurgeon James T. Goodrich was an expert in cranial reconstructive surgeries and also conducted multiple successful operations on separating conjoined twins. The Columbia University alumnus also had also served the US Marines during the Vietnam War. He was also fond of travel and surfing. He succumbed to COVID-19 at age 73.
Eric Sidney Watkins or Professor Sid, as he was known within the Formula One fraternity, wanted to become a doctor since his childhood. An experienced neurosurgeon and academician, he later became Formula One's trackside consultant and safety adviser. He concentrated on creating sophisticated medical back-up necessary for providing timely treatment, thus saving many lives through prompt actions.
British doctor John Langdon Down was pushed to assist at his father’s shop at 14. He gained an interest in medicine after apprenticing with a London surgeon. A pioneer in the treatment of mentally challenged patients, he is remembered for his study of what is now known as Down syndrome.
Alexander Luria was a Soviet neuropsychologist who served as the leader of the Vygotsky Circle, an informal network of psychologists, physiologists, neuroscientists, and medical specialists. Often referred to as the father of neuropsychological assessment, Luria came up with influential books that serve as psychological textbooks for students. His book The Mind of a Mnemonist inspired films like Away with Words.
Pathologist Thomas Stoltz Harvey was the man who conducted an autopsy on Albert Einstein. It is believed the Princeton Hospital employee later stole Einstein’s brain without his family’s permission and even lost his job for it. He kept parts of the brain with him for 43 years.
David H. Hubel was a Canadian American neurophysiologist best remembered for his studies of the function and structure of the visual cortex. In 1981, he received the prestigious Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. Over the course of his career, David H. Hubel also won several other awards, including the Louisa Gross Horwitz Prize.
Sándor Ferenczi is best remembered for his research on free association and the psychoanalytic theory. Initially an army doctor, he specialized in subjects such as neuropathology and hypnosis. He was also close to Sigmund Freud and later taught at the University of Budapest. He also established the Hungarian Psychoanalytic Society.
German neurologist, pathologist, and anatomist Carl Wernicke is best remembered for his extensive work on the various types of aphasia, or disorders that hinder the ability to speak or write. He also distinguished between motor aphasia and sensory aphasia, or what is now known as Wernicke's aphasia.
Welsh psychoanalyst Ernest Jones was one of the most significant figures behind the development of psychoanalysis as a profession in Britain. He was instrumental in building the American Psychoanalytic Association and was the president of the International Psychoanalytical Association. A close associate of Sigmund Freud, he also penned a 3-volume biography of Freud.
Nobel Prize-winning Austrian psychiatrist Julius Wagner-Jauregg is best known for revolutionizing medical science by partially treating general paresis through artificial induction of malaria. He paved the path for shock therapy and fever therapy to treat mental ailments. He also studied thyroid and ovarian issues. He later became a Nazi sympathizer.
Charles Bell was a Scottish surgeon, physiologist, anatomist, and neurologist. He was also an artist and philosophical theologian. He discovered the difference between sensory nerves and motor nerves in the spinal cord. He is also known for describing Bell's palsy. He played a key role in the creation of the Middlesex Hospital Medical School.
A pioneer of medical neurology, Silas Weir Mitchell not only discovered the causalgia and erythromelalgia but also penned more than 100 monographs on various medical treatments. A talented author, he also penned children’s stories, poems, and novels, such as Roland Blake. He also developed rest cure during the American Civil War.
Torsten Wiesel is a Swedish neurophysiologist whose work on ocular dominance columns along with David Hubel earned them the 1981 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. Torsten Wiesel is also a human rights advocate whose work with non-governmental organizations earned him the David Rall Medal. He is also a founding member of a nonprofit establishment called the Israeli-Palestinian Science Organization.
English anthropologist and psychologist W. H. R. Rivers is best remembered for his work on the Todas of the Nilgiri Hills. A qualified physician, he also taught at Cambridge and worked extensively on medical psychology. One of his best-known works is Kinship and Social Organisation.
The son of an architect, Stanley B. Prusiner earned the nickname "little Genius" for inventing a bug repellent in school. The Nobel Prize-winning biochemist and neurologist is best known for discovering prions, or proteins that cause diseases, and thus suggesting an explanation for the mad cow disease.
Neurologist and psychiatrist Vladimir Bekhterev is best remembered for his research on the brain and conditioned reflexes and for his pioneering research on objective psychology. He taught at institutes such as the University of Kazan and was also known for his rivalry with contemporary Ivan Pavlov.
German embryologist and neurologist Robert Remak is known for pathbreaking scientific feats such as the discovery of the Remak’s ganglia and the use of electrotherapy to treat nervous ailments. He also named the three layers of the embryo, the ectoderm, mesoderm, and endoderm. His Jewish origin deprived him from valid recognition.
John Hughlings Jackson was an English neurologist best known for his research on epilepsy. He attended the York Medical and Surgical School and became the house physician to the York Dispensary. He later established his reputation as a neurologist and was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society. He was one of the founders of the important journal Brain.
Nobel Prize-winning physiologist Joseph Erlanger is best known for discovering that fibers in the same nerve cord have different functions. He was also known for his association with the University of Wisconsin and Washington University. He conducted most of his studies with his former student Herbert Spencer Gasser.
Irish neuroscientist and UCL professor Eleanor Maguire is best known for her work on the role of the human brain, especially the hippocampus. One of her best-known works was on the spatial abilities of cab drivers in London. She has been named a Fellow of the Royal Society and of the British Academy.
Renowned Swiss neuroanatomist and psychiatrist Auguste Forel is known for his lifelong research on the human brain structure. He also devoted himself to social causes, such as the prevention of alcoholism. His early interest in insects led him to study the psychology of ants, too.
Known for his pioneering work in the fields of child and educational psychology, Édouard Claparède was also the co-founder of the journal Archives de psychologie. A professor at the University of Geneva, too, he also conducted research on animal psychology and the biological theory of sleep.
Part of the Ransohoff family of surgeons, Joseph Ransohoff had a 30-year stint at the New York University. It is believed the series Ben Casey was based on his experiences. The Harvard alumnus had also wished to be part of the Spanish Civil War at one point.