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5 April: Tribute to Wilder Penfield

5 April: Tribute to Wilder Penfield

Image Courtesy: Google Doodle

Wilder Penfield (26 January 1891 – 5 April 1976) was an American-Canadian neurosurgeon. He expanded brain surgery’s methods and techniques, including mapping the functions of various regions of the brain.

Life and Career

He was born on 26 January 1891 in Spokane, Washington, and studied at Princeton University and then at Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar. After completing his medical training, he began working as a neurosurgeon at the Montreal General Hospital in Canada, where he would spend the majority of his career.

Penfield is best known for his pioneering work in the field of epilepsy and the development of the “Montreal Procedure,” which was a surgical treatment for epilepsy that involved the removal of the affected area of the brain. This procedure helped many people who had previously been unable to control their seizures.

In addition to his work on epilepsy, Penfield also made important contributions to our understanding of the brain and nervous system. He developed a technique known as the “Montreal Technique” which is a surgical technique to map the brain’s functions. This technique enabled him to localize brain functions and helped to establish the areas of the brain responsible for sensation, movement, and speech. He also used this technique to study brain activity during conscious and unconscious states.

Penfield was also a prolific writer and researcher, publishing over 200 articles and several books on the brain and nervous system. He was widely recognized for his contributions to the field of neuroscience and was awarded numerous honors and awards throughout his career.

Penfield passed away on 5 April 1976 but his legacy lives on as his research and discoveries continue to be studied and used in modern neuroscience.

Award and Legacy

Wilder Penfield received many awards and accolades throughout his career for his contributions to the field of neuroscience and neurosurgery. Some of his most notable awards include:

  • The Gairdner Foundation Award in 1961 for his pioneering work in epilepsy surgery.
  • The Royal Society of Canada Fellowship in 1971
  • The Order of Canada in 1972
  • The Order of Quebec in 1973

Penfield’s legacy continues to be celebrated and remembered in the field of neuroscience and neurosurgery. His work on epilepsy and the development of the Montreal Procedure had a significant impact on the treatment of epilepsy and improved the lives of many people who had previously been unable to control their seizures. His work on brain mapping and the Montreal Technique also provided important insights into brain function and laid the foundation for further research in the field.

Penfield’s contributions to the field of neuroscience were widely recognized during his lifetime, and his legacy continues to be celebrated today. His research and discoveries continue to be studied and used in modern neuroscience, and his name continues to be well-known among neuroscientists and neurosurgeons.

On 26 January 2022, Google Doodle celebrated Wilder Penfield’s 127th Birthday.

OV Digital Desk

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