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June 4, 1982


JAMA. 1982;247(21):2965-2966. doi:10.1001/jama.1982.03320460065025

The 1981 Nobel Prize in Physiology and Medicine was awarded to three neuroscientists. One half went to Roger Sperry of the California Institute of Technology for his work concerning the functional specialization of the cerebral hemispheres. That work, carried out in patients in whom a transection of the corpus callosum for the alleviation of seizures had been done, confirmed the discoveries of the turn-of-the-century neurologists who had remarked on the functional asymmetry of the human brain. It is part of a true revolution in the neurology of behavior spawned by the neuropsychological investigations of Norman Geschwind and others in studies of neurological patients.

The other half of the Prize went to David Hubel and Torsten Wiesel, both of the Harvard Medical School, for their discoveries regarding the mechanisms of information processing from the retina to the visual cortex. That work established beyond a doubt that the visual cortex possesses a