AN INTIMATE CONNECTION: Oliver Zangwill and the Emergence of Neuropsychology in Britain

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Abstract

In this article, the author argues that a number of conditions conspired to place the Cambridge psychologist Oliver Zangwill in a pivotal position for pursuing and promoting neuropsychology in Britain after World War II. In broad terms, these were the background and experience of Zangwill himself, the practical engagement of psychologists with patients with brain damage, neurologists, and psychiatrists, the introduction of medical reform including the establishment of a National Health Service, rekindled interest in cortical localization, and the elite social networks that existed in medicine and university life in postwar Britain. The author claims that the career of Zangwill reveals rather than obscures the importance of these wider conditions and demonstrates an unusually close connection between an individual and the emergence of a subdiscipline.

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