On This Day … 07 July

People (Births)

  • 1924 – Natalia Bekhtereva, Russian neuroscientist and psychologist (d. 2008).

People (Deaths)

  • 2006 – John Money, New Zealand-American psychologist and author (b. 1921).

Natalia Bekhtereva

Natalia Petrovna Bekhtereva (07 July 1924 to 22 June 2008) was a Soviet and Russian neuroscientist and psychologist who developed neurophysiological approaches to psychology, such as measuring the impulse activity of human neurons. She was a participant in the documentary films The Call of the Abyss (Russian: Зов бездны) and Storm of Consciousness (Russian: Штурм сознания), which aroused wide public interest. Candidate of Biological Sciences, Doctor of Medicine, Full Professor.

She was brought up with her brother in an orphanage. She graduated from the First Pavlov State Medical University of St. Petersburg (1941-1947) and graduate school of the Pavlov Institute of Physiology. In the summer of 1941, more than 700 students entered the University; by the end of the training, only 4 graduates survived. The rest perished from war and hunger. She survived the Siege of Leningrad.

She worked as a junior research fellow at the Institute of Experimental Medicine, USSR Academy of Medical Sciences (1950-1954). After working her way up from a senior research fellow to the head of the laboratory and Deputy Director, she worked at the Research Neurosurgical Institute named after Professor Andrey L. Polenov of the USSR Ministry of Health (1954-1962). In 1959 she became a Doctor of Medicine. Since 1962 – at the Institute of Institute of Experimental Medicine, USSR Academy of Medical Sciences (the head of the Department of human neurophysiology; the Deputy Director for Research; from 1970 to 1990 – the Director).

In 1975, she became an academician of the USSR Academy of Medical Sciences (subsequently Russian Academy of Medical Sciences). In 1981, she became an academician of the Academy of Sciences of the Soviet Union. Starting in 1990, she was the scientific director of the Centre “Brain” of the Academy of Sciences of the Soviet Union. In 1992 she became the head of the scientific group of the neurophysiology of thinking, creativity and consciousness of the Institute for Human Brain of the RAS.

She was Vice President of the International Union of Physiological Sciences (1974-1980) and Vice President of the International Organization for Psychophysiology (1982-1994).

She worked as editor-in-chief of the academic journals Human Physiology (1975-1987) and International Journal of Psychophysiology (1984-1994).

Deputy of the Supreme Soviet of the Soviet Union of the 8th convocation (1970-1974) and People’s Deputy of the Soviet Union (1989-1991).

John Money

John William Money (08 July 1921 to 7 July 2006) was a New Zealand psychologist, sexologist and author known for his research into sexual identity and biology of gender and his conduct towards vulnerable patients. He was one of the first researchers to publish theories on the influence of societal constructs of gender on individual formation of gender identity. Money introduced the terms gender identity, gender role and sexual orientation and popularised the term paraphilia. He spent a considerable amount of his career in America.

Recent academic studies have criticized Money’s work in many respects, particularly in regard to his involvement with the involuntary sex-reassignment of the child David Reimer, his forcing this child and his brother to simulate sex acts which Money photographed and the adult suicides of both brothers.

Money’s writing has been translated into many languages and includes around 2,000 articles, books, chapters and reviews. He received around 65 honours, awards and degrees in his lifetime. He was also a patron of many famous New Zealand artists, such as Rita Angus and Theo Schoon.

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