Patricia Goldman-Rakic dies

Sudden death of multidisciplinary trailblazer in frontal lobe studies shocks the world of neuroscience

Milly Dawson(millydawson@alum.wellesley.edu)
Aug 6, 2003

Preeminent neuroscientist Patricia Goldman-Rakic, credited with having first detailed the structure and function of the brain's frontal lobe, died July 31 at Yale-New Haven Hospital. She was 66 and had been struck by a car 2 days earlier while crossing a street in Hamden, Conn.

"World neuroscience has lost one of its best leaders. She did so much and would have accomplished so much more," said Alberto Aguayo, secretary general of the International Brain Research Organization in the group's announcement of Goldman-Rakic's death.

"Her work [exploring the] uniquely evolved human frontal lobe parted the waters for a new understanding of complex aspects of cognition and behavior and for understanding very dramatic aberrations such as those seen in schizophrenia," said Daniel Weinberger, chief of the clinical brain disorders branch of the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH).

For many years, the frontal lobe was considered inaccessible to rigorous exploration. Weinberger described...

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