` A Life in Psychology
Michael I. Posner
University of Oregon
I was fortunate to be around during extra ordinary times for the study of psychology. Neuorimaging made the human brain, which is obviously central to understanding the mind and behavior, available for scientific analysis. This biography tries to trace some of the background for my involvement in these events. I believe that a better understanding of the human mind requires both measurement of mental events and mapping of those events to brain networks. It has been my goal over many years to contribute to that effort and below is my story of it.
I was born late in the great depression on Sept. 12, 1936 in Cincinnati Ohio, but at two months of age I traveled with my family to San Bernadino Calif. My father had a successful law practice in Cincinnati, but for health reasons he undertook the move to California. Because California had no reciprocity in law degrees and because of the difficult economic times during the depression years he never again practiced law. During the war years he first worked in defense related industry, including Cal Ship and later social work with jewish servicemen and their families. My mother was most often home with us in these years, but she also was a very fine shoe salesperson, a calling she pursued mostly on weekends.
The most influential people in my early development were my father, whose extraordinary dedication to helping others, was always a powerful example in my life. My brother Jerry, whose guidance has continued over my whole career. He was a brilliant student who decided to become a physician at age two, received his MD in his early twenties and became a very renowned Neurologist and founder of the Department of Neuro-Oncology at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York. After my graduation in physics he suggested graduate work in biological...