Cerebral Mechanisms in Behavior the Hixon Symposium

Cerebral Mechanisms in Behavior the Hixon Symposium

Cerebral Mechanisms in Behavior the Hixon Symposium

Cerebral Mechanisms in Behavior the Hixon Symposium


This book is the report of a symposium held at the California Institute of Technology in September, 1948. The topic of the symposium was "Cerebral Mechanisms in Behavior." To discuss it a group was brought to the Institute for the week of September 20 to September 25 under the auspices of the Hixon Fund Committee.

The Hixon Fund was established in 1938 by a grant to the California Institute of Technology from the estate of Frank P. Hixon. Its purpose has been to support scientific endeavor which offers promise of increased understanding of human behavior. Among the projects supported by the Hixon Fund have been the following:

A period of collaboration between Dr. Lorente de Nó of the Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research and Dr. Leverett Davis of the Physics Department of the California Institute of Technology upon the distribution of electrical potential in nerves.

A cooperative study by members of the Institute staff under the leadership of Dr. Wiersma and Dr. van Harreveld, and representatives of the California Department of Institutions, dealing with electroconvulsive therapy and with electronarcosis as a therapeutic agent in mental disorders.

A study by Dr. David B. Tyler of treatments for cases of battle fatigue and of motion sickness.

A study by Dr. Marjory Douglis of social behavior in chickens.

The Hixon Fund is at present administered by a committee consisting of Professors G. W. Beadle, James Bonner, Henry Borsook, Max Delbrück, Linus Pauling, A. H. Sturtevant, C. A. G. Wiersma, and A. van Harreveld, chairman. Dr. Max Mason, who had been chairman of the committee ever since the establishment of the Hixon Fund, has recently retired from it.

In 1947 the Committee invited me to the Institute to spend the year in research in audition and to help them in organizing the 1948 symposium. The year, which was a very pleasant one for me, culminated in the exciting symposium week.

I wish it were possible to convey to the reader more of the atmosphere of the meetings than can be done in type. Smiles, frowns . . .

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