July 25, 1966

Higher Cortical Functions in Man

Author Affiliations



by Aleksandr Romanovich Luria, Basil Haigh (trans.), 513 pp, with illus, $17.50, New York: Basic Books, Inc., and Consultant's Bureau, 1966.

JAMA. 1966;197(4):301. doi:10.1001/jama.1966.03110040111037

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The Russians are far ahead of us in research on the human cerebral cortex. We have been too bemused by the ultralittle to give much attention to the great overbrain. The areal studies of Filimonov, continued into the cortical mechanisms by Polyakov, and functional analysis of the human cerebral cortex by Luria and his many fellow travelers, have volleyed corticology beyond its position in the western world (but they have neglected the important experimentation on higher primates).

Luria's earlier work, which concentrated on speech, he now extends to the other activities of the left cerebral cortex. He confesses that his diagnostic ability is not yet adequate for the subtler injuries of the right side.

This reviewer finds Luria's categories sound, his testing methods properly evocative, and his judgments well founded. To what degree his testing methods and conceptualization are matched in American psychological research, however, the reviewer cannot say, but