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Roger W. Sperry

Roger W. SperryAKA Roger Wolcott Sperry

Born: 20-Aug-1913
Birthplace: Hartford, CT
Died: 17-Apr-1994
Location of death: Pasadena, CA
Cause of death: Heart Failure

Gender: Male
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Scientist

Nationality: United States
Executive summary: "Split brain" hemispheric neurophysiology

Military service: Office of Scientific Research and Development (1942-45)

American biologist Roger W. Sperry conducted "split-brain" studies on the connection between the brain's left and right hemispheres, proving that neural circuitry is specifically 'wired' for specific functions, and showing that the two sides of the brain can operate almost independently. Won the Nobel Prize for Medicine or Physiology in 1981, sharing the honor with David H. Hubel and Torsten N. Wiesel. Sperry was awarded half the Nobel payout of $182,000; Hubel and Wiesel shared the other half.

Father: Francis Bushnell Sperry (banker, b. 1878, d. 1924)
Mother: Florence Kraemer Sperry (school worker, b. 1886)
Brother: Russell Loomis Sperry (chemist)
Wife: Norma Gay Deupree Sperry (m. 28-Dec-1949)
Son: Glenn Michael Sperry ("Tad", b. 13-Oct-1953)
Daughter: Janeth Hope Sperry (b. 18-Aug-1963)

    High School: William H Hall High School, West Hartford, CT (1931)
    University: BA English Literature, Oberlin College (1935)
    University: MS Psychology, Oberlin College (1937)
    University: ScD Zoology, University of Chicago (1941)
    Scholar: Primate Biology, Harvard University (1941-46)
    Teacher: Anatomy, University of Chicago (1946-52)
    Teacher: Psychology, University of Chicago (1952-54)
    Professor: Psychobiology, California Institute of Technology (1954-84)

    Lasker Award 1979
    Wolf Prize in Medicine 1979
    Nobel Prize for Medicine 1981 (with David H. Hubel and Torsten N. Wiesel)
    National Medal of Science 1989
    American Academy of Arts and Sciences
    American Philosophical Society
    National Academy of Sciences
    Royal Society (Foreign member)
    Russian Academy of Sciences (Foreign member)

Official Website:

Author of books:
Functional Results of Crossing Nerves and Transposing Muscles in the Fore and Hind Limbs of the Rat (1942)
The Growth of Nerve Circuits (1959)
Problems Outstanding in the Evolution of Brain Function (1964)
Science and Moral Priority: Merging Mind, Brain, and Human Values (1983)

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