Sunday, September 6, 2009

SIGMUND FREUD (1856-1939)

SIGMUND FREUD (1856-1939) - in full Sigismund Schlomo Freud

Austrian psychiatrist and founder of psychoanalysis, the most influential psychological theorist of 20th-century. Freud's theories, including the concept of the Oedipus complex, have had an enormous influence on art, literature, and social thinking. Freud's fundamental idea was that all humans are endowed with an unconscious in which potent sexual and aggressive drives, and defenses against them, struggle for supremacy. Freud once stated: "The only unnatural sexual behavior is none at all." It is often asserted that Freud "discovered" the unconscious mind. However, the idea is found in the work of many thinkers and authors from the times of Homer.
"The interpretation of dreams is the royal road to a knowledge of the unconscious activities of the mind." (from The Interpretation of Dreams, 1900)
Sigmund Freud was born of Jewish parentage in Freiburg, Moravia, Austria-Hungary (now the Czech Republic), the first of seven children. His mother Amalia Nathansohn was twenty years younger than his father, the wool merchant Jakob Freud; Amalia was his third wife. The family moved in 1860 to Vienna, where discriminating laws against the Jews had been canceled during 1850s and 1860s. Freud studied medicine at the University of Vienna under Josef Breuer, a Viennese physician. Breuer had with some success treated patients by encouraging them to "talk out" their past under hypnosis. In 1895 they coauthored Studies in Hysteria. It was an account of the treatment of "Anna O.", a hysterical patient, whom Freud himself never treated.
From 1882 to 1886 Freud worked at the General Hospital, and experimented among others with cocaine, also using it himself. He went to Paris in 1885 to study under Jean Martin Charcot at the Salpetrière Hospital. There the hypnotic treatment of women, who suffered from a medical state called "hysteria", led Freud to take an interest in psychiatry. After returning to Vienna Freud married Martha Bernays; they had six children. In 1886 Freud opened his private practice. Their address from 1891 was Berggasse 19, where the family lived until 1938.
By 1896 Freud had found the key to his own system, naming it psychoanalysis. In it he had replaced hypnosis with "free association." In 1900 Freud published his first major work, The Interpretation of Dreams, which established the importance of psychoanalytical movement. One of Freud's most famous early failures happened in the same year. In October he began treating an 18-year-old woman, Ida Bauer, better known by the pseudonym Dora. After 11 weeks, she stopped treatment, leaving much of the analytic work undone.
In 1902 Freud was appointed Ausserordentlicher Professor, and in 1905 appeared Three Essays on the Theory of Sexuality. At the suggestion of a disciple, Freud founded in 1902 the Psychological Wednesday Society, later transformed into the Viennna Psychoanalytic Society. After the Third International Psychoanalytic Congress in Weimar in 1911, Freud met Lou Andreas-Salomé, the Russian intellectual, who had been beloved by Nietzsche, whom she rejected, and was the traveling companion and lover of the poet Rainer Maria Rilke. Andreas-Salomé was still in her fifties youthful-appearing, and when Freud first encountered her, he warned one of his younger followers that she was "a woman of dangerous intelligence" but that "all the tracks around her go into the Lion's den but none come out." For a brief period, Andreas-Salomé was Freud's closest woman pupil and she was allowed to attend regularly the internal Wednesday gatherings at Bergstrasse 19. "Frau Lou" was also close to Freud's daughter Anna (1895-1982). Andreas-Salomé never questioned Anna's adoration of her famous father. Later Anna Freud, who never married, became a major force in British psychology, spezializing in the application of psychoanalysis to children. Among her best known works is The Ego and the Mechanism of Defence (1936).
In 1909 Freud travelled with Carl Jung in the United States, lecturing and meeting among others American philosopher and psychologist William James (SEE UNDER his brother, writer Henry James). Jung's close collaboration with Freud lasted until 1913. Jung had become increasingly critical of Freud's exclusively sexual definition of libido and incest. The publication of Jung's Symbols of Transformation (1912) led to a final break.
"I always recognized Freud's greatness and genius, but he was extremely headstrong. He came out of nowhere and the world was hostile towards him. He had to be obstinate to gain acceptance. Had he not been obstinate, his theory would have remained unknown... Once he said to me:we have to turn the theory of the unconscious into a dogma, to make it immovable. Why a dogma, I replied, since sooner or later truth will have to win out? Freud explained: We need a dam against the black tide of mud of occultism." (from C.G. Jung Speaking, ed. by William McGuire, and R.F.C. Hull, 1978)

Monday, July 27, 2009

Arnold Gesell (1880-1961)

Prior to the early twentieth century, scientific observations of children were not common. Arnold Gesell was one of the first psychologists to systematically describe children's physical, social, and emotional achievements, particularly in the first five years of life. In fact, the developmental norms established by Ge-sell and his colleagues are still used by pediatricians and psychologists today.
Gesell was born and raised in Alma, Wisconsin, and received a doctorate in psychology in 1906 from Clark University. In 1911 he began a faculty position in education at Yale University. While fulfilling the requirements of his teaching and research position, he also worked toward a doctorate in medicine, which he earned in 1915. While at Yale, Gesell established and directed the Clinic of Child Development, where children's achievements in terms of physical and psychological development were observed and measured. Gesell's observations of children allowed him to describe developmental milestones in ten major areas: motor characteristics, personal hygiene, emotional Arnold Gesell was one of the first psychologists to systematically describe children's achievements in terms of physical and psychological development. (UPI/Corbis-Bettmann) expression, fears and dreams, self and sex, interpersonal relations, play and pastimes, school life, ethical sense, and philosophic outlook. His training in physiology and his focus on developmental milestones led Gesell to be a strong proponent of the "maturational" perspective of child development. That is, he believed that child development occurs according to a predetermined, naturally unfolding plan of growth.
Gesell's most notable achievement was his contribution to the "normative" approach to studying children. In this approach, psychologists observed large numbers of children of various ages and determined the typical age, or "norms," for which most children achieved various developmental milestones.
When Gesell retired from Yale in 1948, his colleagues established a private institution in his name in New Haven, Connecticut, called the Gesell Institute of Child Development. During the 1970s and 1980s Gesell's research prompted many books and articles to be published by researchers associated with the institute. These writings became popular with parents and teachers because they described the typical behaviors to be expected of children at each age; however, Gesell's writings have been criticized by other psychologists because he did not readily acknowledge that there are individual differences in child development, and his focus on developmental norms implied that what is typical for each age is also what is desirable. Nevertheless, his practice of carefully observing, measuring, and describing child development created a foundation for subsequent research that described both average developmental trends and individual differences in development.Read more:

Monday, July 20, 2009

Christopher Paolini Biography

Author Christopher Paolini not only writes about fantasy, he lives it. When he was a mere fifteen years old, he penned a sweeping epic called Eragon, which was eventually discovered by a New York publisher—and by thousands of readers. In 2003 the book nestled comfortably on bestseller lists, and by 2004 a movie based on the magnificent tale of a boy and a brilliant blue dragon was poised to take flight. Paolini was also hard at work writing the second and third installments in the Inheritance trilogy. In a interview, the author and boy wonder promised fans that future books would include the same "breathtaking locations, thrilling battles, and searching introspection as Eragon—in addition to true love."
A reluctant reader
In 1984, when Christopher Paolini was born, his mother, Talita, quit her job as a Montessori preschool teacher to devote her time to raising her new son. Montessori is a system of learning developed by Italian educator Maria Montessori (1870–1952); some of its features include a focus on individual instruction and an early development of writing skills. Talita used the Montessori method to teach Christopher at home, and two years later when sister Angela came along, she, too, became part of the Paolini classroom. Since some of the materials in a Montessori school are expensive, Talita experimented and came up with creative alternatives to inspire and educate her children. She was so successful that by the time Christopher, and later Angela, turned three years old, they were both comfortably working at a first-grade level.
When Christopher was old enough to attend public school, his parents were worried that he would be bored by a traditional curriculum, so they thought long and hard and decided to educate him at home. In fact, focusing on their children was such a top priority that the Paolinis made a deliberate choice to live simply, drawing small salaries from Kenneth Paolini's home-based publishing company. In interviews Paolini has talked about the nurturing environment his parents created for him, and he credits them for being his inspiration. He has also admitted that he was not always a receptive student. A particularly interesting note is that Paolini was a reluctant reader. When he was about three or four, he refused to learn to read, but his mother worked patiently with him until one day a door opened that would change his life.
"I enjoy fantasy because it allows me to visit lands that have never existed, to see things that never could exist, to experience daring adventures with interesting characters, and most importantly, to feel the sense of magic in the world."
That door was his first visit to the library. In his essay titled "Dragon Tales," Paolini described going to the library with his mother and being attracted to a series of mystery books with colorful spines. He took one home and, according to Paolini, something clicked. He was spellbound by the characters, the dialogue, and the fascinating situations. "From then on," wrote Paolini, "I've been in love with the written word." He went on to devour books of all kinds—classics, myths, thrillers, science fiction, anything that seemed interesting. In particular, he was drawn to the fantasy genre and to writers who wrote tales about heroes and elves, swordfights and quests and, especially, dragons.
The Wonderful World of Teen Authors
Christopher Paolini was indeed a boy wonder, writing his first book at age fifteen, but American publishing is filled with stories written by young authors. Some have been published quite recently, while others go back a number of years. The following is just a short list of teen writers; the age listed indicates how old the author was when he or she wrote their first work.
Amelia Atwater-Rhodes (14 years old): In the Forests of the Night (1999); Demon in My View (2000); Shattered Mirror (2001); Midnight Predator (2002); Hawksong (2003); Snakecharm (2004).
Walter Farley (15 years old): The Black Stallion (although the book was published in 1941, Farley wrote the first draft of Stallion while still a student at Erasmus High School in New York City).
Miles Franklin (16 years old): My Brilliant Career (1901).
Kimberly Fuller (16 years old): Home (1997). S. E. Hinton (16 years old): Outsiders (1967); That was Then, This is Now (1971); Rumble Fish (1975); Tex (1979); Taming the Star Runner (1988); Hawks Harbor (2004).
Gordan Korman (14 years old): Korman is a prolific writer who began his popular Macdonald Hall series with This Can't Be Happening at Macdonald Hall (1977).
Benjamin Lebert (16 years old): Crazy (2000; first American translation from the German).
Megan McNeil Libby (16 years old): Postcards from France (1998).
Dav Pilkey (19 years old): World War Won (1987); Pilkey went on to achieve fame as the author of the well-known Captain Underpants series.
Trope, Zoe (15 years old): Please Don't Kill the Freshman: A Memoir (c. 2003).
A writer of dragons
Paolini often found himself daydreaming about dragons when he was riding in the car, when he was taking a shower, when he was supposed to be doing his homework. While he was growing up he captured some of his daydreams on paper, writing poems and short stories that featured dragons and were set in magical places. Paolini did not take a real stab at writing a longer piece until he graduated from high school in 1999, at the age of fifteen. According to Paolini, he did not set out to get published; instead, he viewed writing a book-length work as a kind of personal challenge.
Paolini had ideas swimming around in his head, but he realized that he knew very little about the actual art of writing—for example, how to construct a plot line. So he set out to do some research. He studied several books on writing, including Characters and Viewpoint (1988) by Orson Scott Card and Robert McKee's Story (1997), which helped him to sketch out a nine-page summary. Paolini then spent the next year fleshing out his story, writing sporadically at first, but then picking up the pace. The task went much more quickly after he learned how to type.
As Paolini explained in "Dragon Tales," he tried to imbue his story with the same elements he found most compelling in books: "an intelligent hero; lavish descriptions; exotic locations; dragons; elves; dwarves; magic; and above all else, a sense of awe and wonder." In particular, he drew upon the works of some of his favorite fantasy authors for inspiration, including J. R. R. Tolkien (1892–1973), author of The Lord of the Rings trilogy, and Anne McCaffrey (1926–), an American writer famous for her Dragonriders of Pern series. The result was a book called Eragon.
Eragon follows the adventures of a fifteen-year-old farm boy who finds a mysterious gemstone covered with white veins. It is actually a dragon's egg, and when the egg hatches and a magnificent blue dragon emerges, the boy's life is changed forever. Eragon names the dragon Saphira, and the two become so inseparable that they share their innermost thoughts and feelings. Their bond is challenged, however, by an evil tyrant named King Galbatorix. A hundred years earlier, Galbatorix had outlawed dragons and destroyed the Dragon Riders, the lodge of dragon-riding warriors who protected them. When the king becomes aware that Eragon is the first of a new generation of Dragon Riders, he has his family killed and plots to capture the boy and his blue-scaled companion. Eragon and Saphira embark on a journey of escape and revenge, and along the way meet up with a wise magician, elves, dwarves, and several beautiful maidens.
Polishing up his prose
Paolini spent the bulk of 2000 reworking his first draft, smoothing out problems and fine-tuning such things as language and landscape. The young author introduces no less than three languages in Eragon: the elves speak a language based on Old Norse (the languages of medieval Scandinavia), which Paolini spent months studying; and the dwarves and Urgals (the fanged army of King Galbarotix) each speak a language made up entirely by Paolini. To help readers along, Paolini created a glossary that appears at the end of the finished book.
For the mythical setting of Alagaësia, Paolini turned to the natural landscape of his own home state. The Paolinis live in Livingston, Montana, located in the scenic Paradise Valley just north of Yellowstone Park. Years of hiking through such rugged and beautiful terrain helped Paolini create a vivid world that is both fantastic and true-to-life. For example, the Beor Mountains that are featured in Eragon are an exaggerated version of the Beartooth Mountains of Montana.
By 2001 Paolini had a second draft, but he was still not satisfied, so he turned the book over to his parents for editing. They helped him streamline some of the plot sequences, clarify some of the concepts, and pare back some of what Paolini called "the bloat." Kenneth and Talita Paolini were so impressed by the finished product, and believed in the manuscript so much, that they decided to throw themselves into publishing it. Instead of going the traditional route and shopping the book around to established publishing houses, they decided to publish it themselves. As Paolini told, "We wanted to retain financial and creative control over the book. Also, we were excited by the prospect of working on this project as a family." Kenneth formatted the book on his computer, and the young Paolini, who is also a budding artist, drew the maps to accompany the text. He designed the book's front cover and produced a self-portrait to grace the back cover.
The fantasy comes true
In 2002 the Paolinis had Eragon published privately, and with ten thousand copies in hand, they set out to promote the book for the rest of the year. Paolini and his mother became the marketing masterminds, but the entire family traveled across the country, stopping at bookstores, schools, libraries, and fairs. Paolini even decided to forego college to promote his book. He had previously been accepted to Reed College in Portland, Oregon. In an interview with Kit Spring of The UK Guardian Unlimited, Paolini described the book's promotion as a stressful experience. The young author gave presentations dressed as a medieval storyteller, and he found himself spending entire days talking ceaselessly about his book.
Christopher Paolini reads during a book signing at Borders in Birmingham, MI.
Photograph by Denay Wilding.
The nonstop tour was exhausting, but Paolini also felt the added pressure of becoming his family's breadwinner. As he explained to Spring, "Selling the book meant putting food on the table." Sales were going well, but not well enough, and by the end of 2002, the Paolinis were afraid that they might have to sell their home to make ends meet. Just when things looked bleak, providence stepped in by way of a famous fan. Author Carl Hiaasen (1953–) and his family were on vacation in Montana, and when they stopped at a local bookstore, Hiaasen's stepson picked up a copy of Eragon. He loved it so much that he showed it to Hiaasen, who promptly sent the book to his editor at Alfred A. Knopf Publishers in New York City.
Knopf purchased the book for an undisclosed six-figure sum, along with the rights to the next two books in the trilogy. Paolini had always envisioned Eragon as the first in a series of three books. When the book was released in August of 2003, it debuted at number three on the New York Times children's bestseller list, and Paolini was off on another whirlwind round of promotions. This time, however, things were a bit different, since he was appearing on such high-profile television programs as the Today Show, and being interviewed by national magazines including People Weekly, Newsweek, and Time. In 2004, Paolini extended his tour to Great Britain.
Eragon was also making the rounds of critics, who gave the book mixed reviews. Some focused on flaws and weaknesses, claiming that the book was a novelty and that its success was actually the result of the author's young age. Others pointed out faults, but still felt that Eragon was an appealing fantasy novel that showed great promise. For example, Liz Rosenberg of the New York Times Book Review claimed that the "plot stumbles and jerks along, with gaps in logic." But she also admitted that "for all its flaws, [the book] is an authentic work of great talent."
Future flights of fiction
Fans agreed with Rosenberg's final pronouncement, and Eragon quickly developed a cult following. In mid-2004 it remained at the top of the New York Times bestseller list, flip-flopping between the number one and the number two spots, vying for the top spot with Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, by popular British author J. K. Rowling (c. 1966–). The privately published editions of Eragon became hot collectors' items, bringing up to $1,000 per copy. Even the first Knopf edition became sought after, selling for close to $300.
Throughout his many interviews, Paolini seemed thrilled by all the attention, but the slightly built, bespectacled young man still kept his feet firmly planted on the ground. After all, he had to stay focused because he had two books in the wings: Eldest, which was expected to be released in August of 2005, and Empire, slated to be published in the fall of 2006. In the meantime, Paolini was also hard at work writing the screenplay for Eragon, tentatively scheduled to hit theaters in time for Christmas of 2005.
Although the pressure was on to perform, the financial pressure was lightened and the Paolinis were living comfortably. Again, Christopher Paolini kept things in perspective. He claimed that he has allowed himself one extravagance, a replica Viking sword, which he carries with him around the house. He told Book Browse, "There's no guarantee it will last.... Readers have fallen in love with [Eragon], thousands of people are reading it. I can't really ask for more."

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Autobiography Roger Sperry

Birthplace and Family: Born August 20, 1913, in Hartford, Connecticut to Francis Bushnell and Florence Kraemer Sperry of Elmwood, a small suburb. Father was in banking; mother trained in business school and after dad's death, when I was 11 years old, she became assistant to the principal in the local high school. One brother, Russell Loomis, a year younger, went into chemistry. I was married to Norma Gay Deupree, December 28, 1949. We have one son, Glenn Michael (Tad), born October 13, 1953 and one daughter, Janeth Hope, born August 18, 1963.Education: My early schooling was in Elmwood, Connecticut and William Hall High School in West Hartford, Connecticut. I attended Oberlin College on a 4 year Amos C. Miller Scholarship. After receiving the AB in English in 1935, I stayed on 2 years more in Oberlin for an MA in Psychology, 1937, under Professor R. H. Stetson. I then took an additional third year at-large at Oberlin to prepare for a switch to Zoology for Ph.D. work under Professor Paul A. Weiss at the University of Chicago. After receiving the Ph.D. at Chicago in 1941, I did a year of postdoctoral research as a National Research Council Fellow at Harvard University under Professor Karl S. Lashley.Professional positions: Biology research fellow, Harvard University, at Yerkes Laboratories of Primate Biology (1942-46); Assistant professor, Department of Anatomy, University of Chicago (1946-52); Associate professor of psychology, University of Chicago (1952-53); Section Chief, Neurological Diseases and Blindness, National Institutes of Health (1952-53); Hixon professor of psychobiology, California Institute of Technology (1954-present).Awards and Honors: Amos C. Miller Scholarship, Oberlin College (1931-35); National Research Council Fellowship (1941-42); Distinguished Alumni Citation; Oberlin College (1954); Elected National Academy of Sciences (1960); Elected American Academy of Arts and Sciences (1963); Howard Crosby Warren Medal, Society of Experimental Psychologists (1969); Distinguished Scientific Contribution Award, American Psychological Association (1971); California Scientist of the Year Award (1972); Co-recipient William Thomson Wakeman Research Award, National Paraplegia Foundation (1972); Honorary Doctor of Science degree, Cambridge University (1972); Passano Award in Medical Science (1973); Elected American Philosophical Society (1974); Elected Honorary Member American Neurological Association (1974); Co-recipient Claude Bernard Science Journalism Award (1975); Karl Lashley Award of American Philosophical Society (1976); Elected Foreign Member of Royal Society (1976); Honorary Doctor of Science Degree, University of Chicago (1976); Elected member of Pontifical Academy of Sciences (1978); Honorary Doctor of Science Degree, Kenyon College (1979); Wolf Prize in Medicine (1979); Ralph Gerard Award of the Society of Neurosciences (1979); International Visual Literacy Association Special Award (1979); Albert Lasker Medical Research Award (1979); Honorary Doctor of Science Degree, The Rockefeller University (1980); American Academy of Achievement Golden Plate Award (1980)A vocational and anti-brain-strain: Collected and raised large American moths in grade school. Ran trap line and collected live wild pets during junior high school years. Three-letter man in varsity athletics in high school and college. Through middle life continued evening and weekend diversionary activities including sculpture, ceramics, figure drawing, sports, American folk dance, boating, fishing, snorkeling, water colors, and collecting unusual fossils - among which we have a contender for the world's 3rd largest ammonite.
Selected Bibliography
1. The problem of central nervous reorganization after nerve regeneration and muscle transposition. R.W. Sperry. Quart. Rev. Biol. 20:311-369 (1945).
2. Regulative factors in the orderly growth of neural circuits. R.W. Sperry. Growth Symp. 10: 63-67 (1951).
3. Cerebral organization and behavior. R.W. Sperry. Science 133:1749-1757 (1961).
4. Chemoaffinity in the orderly growth of nerve fiber patterns and connections. R.W. Sperry. Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci. USA 50: 703-710 (1963).
5. Interhemispheric relationships: the neocortical commissures; syndromes of hemisphere disconnection. R.W. Sperry, M.S. Gazzaniga, and J.E. Bogen. In Handbook Clin. Neurol. P. J. Vinken and G.W. Bruyn (Eds.), Amsterdam: North-Holland Publishing Co. 4: 273-290 (1969).
6. Lateral specialization in the surgically separated hemispheres. R.W. Sperry. In Neurosciences Third Study Program. F. Schmitt and F. Worden (Eds.), Cambridge: MIT Press 3:5-19 (1974).
7. Mind-brain interaction: mentalism, yes; dualism, no. R.W. Sperry. Neuroscience 5: 195-206 (1980). Reprinted in Commentaries in the Neurosciences. A.D. Smith, R. Llanas and P.G. Kostyuk (Eds.), Oxford: Pergamon Press, pp. 651-662 (1980).
8. Science and moral priority: merging mind, brain and human values. R.W. Sperry. Vol. 4 of Convergence, (Ser. ed. Ruth Anshen) New York: Columbia University Press (1982).