I obtained my medical degrees at Cambridge and spent six years in multidisciplinary neuroscience research at the

  • National Hospital, Queen Square (EEG),
  • University of British Columbia with William C. Gibson (neuroanatomy),
  • Australian National University with Nobel laureate Sir John Eccles (neurophysiology)
  • Psychological Laboratory Cambridge with Oliver Zangwill (neuropsychology),
  • Galesburg Hospital with Harold Himwich (neuropsychopharmacology)
  • Worcester Foundation with Hudson Hoagland (neuropsychopharmacology)

before completing my clinical training at the Maudsley Hospital, London with Sir Aubrey Lewis. Then I joined the psychiatry faculty at Edinburgh University for twelve years, and then eighteen years as Charles Bryon Ireland Professor of Psychiatric Research at the University of Alabama at Birmingham where I am now Emeritus. Since 1991 I have worked in Vilayanur Ramachandran’s laboratory at the University of California San Diego.

Sir John Eccles and I at his home in Switzerland.

Sir John Eccles and I at his home in Switzerland.

I have served as President of the International Society of Psychoneuroendocrinology from 1970-1974, Consultant to the World Health Organization from 1963-1968, and Editor of the International Review of Neurobiology from 1958-1991. I was elected a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians, London in 1965 and a member of the Athenaeum in 1968. I have published over 200 scientific papers and twenty books.

I am a co-editor, and co-contributor of a chapter, of the first book devoted to the claustrum (Smythies, J., Edelstein, L., Ramachandran, V. eds. The Claustrum: Structural, Functional and Clinical Neuroscience. San Diego. Academic Press Elsevier. 2014).

I am a co-editor and co-contributor of a chapter (together with Lawrence Edelstein and Professor Denis Noble FRS) of the first Theme Issue of the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B devoted to the topic of “Epigenetic information processing mechanisms in the brain” (Edelstein et al. 2014c).