Penfield, Wilder Graves

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Penfield, Wilder Graves


Born Jan. 26, 1891, in Spokane, Wash. Canadian neurologist and neurosurgeon.

Penfield graduated from Princeton University in 1913 and received an M.D. degree in 1918. He became an associate professor at Columbia University in 1921. Since 1934 he has been a citizen of Canada. Between 1928 and 1960 he was professor of neurology and neurosurgery in Montreal and director of the Montreal Neurological Institute.

Penfield’s principal works are devoted to brain tumors, localization of functional areas of the cerebral cortex, and diagnosis and medical and surgical treatment of epilepsy. He proposed the theory of the centrocephalic system as the highest level of integration of functions. Penfield’s name is given to the syndrome of paroxysmal hypertension that develops with brain tumors and to the symptom of obsessive thought that is an epileptic equivalent.

Penfield was president of the Vanier Institute of the Family from 1965 to 1968. He is a foreign member of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR (1958) and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the London Royal Society, and many other societies. He has been awarded an order of the Legion of Honor.


Epilepsy and Cerebral Localization. Springfield-Baltimore, 1941. (With T. C. Erickson.)
The Cerebral Cortex of Man. New York, 1950. (With T. Rasmussen.)
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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