Mask for Monkeys, used by Dr. Roger W. Sperry

Mask for Monkeys, used by Dr. Roger W. Sperry

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The career of Dr. Roger W. Sperry (1913-1994) spanned many scientific fields, including developmental neurology, experimental psychobiology, and human split-brain studies. Materials used by Sperry held within the Museum's collections were employed in experiments concerning the development and function of the brain and nervous system. In 1954 Sperry was named Hixon Professor of Psychobiology at the California Institute of Technology, where he began research into split-brain functions. This work involved the examination of epileptic patients who had undergone commissurotomy, a surgical procedure where the corpus callosum (mass of nerve fibers connecting the brain hemispheres) is severed. Sperry's studies led to a dramatic increase in the scientific understanding of consciousness and provided a strong outline for the specialized functions of the brain, including recognition of the abilities of the non-verbal right hemisphere. Furthermore, Sperry made a compelling scientific argument that mental events exert influence over the biological events of brain processing.
Sperry won the Albert Lasker Basic Medical Research Award in 1981 and the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine in 1981.
Currently not on view
Object Name
Psychological Apparatus
psychological apparatus
mask, monkey
Associated Name
Sperry, Roger W.
Sperry, Roger W.
place made
United States: California, Pasadena
overall: 14.2 cm x 19.1 cm x 16 cm; 5 9/16 in x 7 1/2 in x 6 5/16 in
overall: 5 1/2 in x 7 5/8 in x 6 1/4 in; 13.97 cm x 19.3675 cm x 15.875 cm
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
Credit Line
Norma G. Sperry
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Medicine
Data Source
National Museum of American History
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