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Narrative Review

Vol. 9 No. 2 (2006)

Understanding the human brain: A lifetime of dedicated pursuit: Interview with Dr. Brenda Milner

  • Chenjie Xia
November 1, 2020


As a pioneer in the field of neuropsychology, Dr. Brenda Milner has contributed to many important landmark discoveries in the study of memory and temporal lobes, the lateralization of hemispheric function in language, as well as the role of frontal lobes in problem-solving. She is a fellow of the Royal Society (London) and the Royal Society of Canada, and a Foreign Associate of the National Academy of Sciences (USA). She has been recognized with numerous prestigious awards throughout her career, the latest of which include the Donald O. Hebb Distinguished Contribution Award in 2001, the Neuroscience Award from the United States National Academy of Science in 2004 and the Gairdner Award in 2005. Dr. Milner received her undergraduate degree at the University of Cambridge in 1939 and completed her PhD under the supervision of Dr. Donald Hebb at McGill University in 1952. She joined the Montreal Neurological Institute in 1950 to work with Dr. Wilder Penfield. Dr. Milner is presently the Dorothy J. Killam Professor of Psychology at the Montreal Neurological Institute and the Department of Neurology & Neurosurgery of McGill University. I spent an afternoon with Dr. Milner on May 12th, 2006, where she shared with me her thoughts on her work, her perspective on the past and future of cognitive neuroscience, as well as her advice for students beginning in research.


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