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The Central Institute forBrain Research in Amsterdam and its directors

Publication year 2014
Published in Journal of the History of the Neurosciences
Authors Paul Eling, M.A. Hofman

The Central Institute for Brain Research was founded in Amsterdam in 1908 as part of an international effort to study the nervous system with multiple institutions and various disciplines. The development of research in the past hundred years at the Brain Institute has hardly been documented. We analyze the history of this institute by means of brief portraits of its directors and their main research topics. It appears that each director introduced his own branch of neuroscience into the institute. Initially, mainly comparative neuroanatomical data were collected. Following the Second World War, the multidisciplinary approach slowly developed with research programs on systems neuroscience, neuroendocrinology, and brain disorders. Every new director introduced new approaches to the study of the brain and thus played an important role in keeping brain research in the Netherlands at the international forefront where it has been ever since its foundation in 1908.

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