BY FREDERICK K. D. NAHM AND KARL H. PRIBRAM
HEINRICH KLÜVER WAS AN influential figure in the field of animal behavior and is said to have brought the Gestalt psychology movement to the continental United States. Joining rigorous experimental methods with a phenomenological spirit of investigation, he became one of the foremost experimental psychologists of his time and helped to shape the field today known as neuroscience.
He is known mostly for his work with the neurosurgeon Paul Bucy and the description of the Klüver-Bucy syndrome, which was described in non-human primates following large bilateral lesions of the temporal lobe. Later in his career he turned to neuroanatomy and developed staining techniques that are still in use.
He was by many accounts a man devoted to the practice of science. He successfully refused the pull of administrative duties and continued to carry out experiments until his mandatory retirement from the University of Chicago in 1963. Klüver's work had an important influence on the growth of the neurobiological sciences in the United States. His experimental practices were both conceptually rich and methodologically sound. He subjected his ideas to strict experimental validation and had no patience for arm-chair psychology. His studies furthered our understanding of