Horace Magoun

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Magoun, Horace


Born June 23, 1907, in Philadelphia, Pa. American neuroanatomist. Member of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA.

Upon graduating from Syracuse University in 1931, Magoun remained there to work. In 1943 he became a professor at Northwestern University in Chicago, and in 1950 a professor at the University of California School of Medicine. His best-known works deal with the role of brain stem reticular formation in behavioral acts of the body and its significance in conditioned-reflex activity. He discovered (with the Italian physiologist G. Moruzzi) the activating influence of the reticular formation on the cerebral cortex, which is expressed in generalized desynchronization. Magoun formulated the concept of ascending reticular activating system, to which he assigns a large role in the maintenance of wakefulness and attention.


“Brain Stem Reticular Formation and Activation of the EEG.” Electroencephalography and Clinical Neurophysiology, 1949, vol. 1, pp. 455–73. (With G. Moruzzi.)
In Russian translation:
Bodrstvuiushchii mozg, 2nd ed. Moscow, 1965.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.