Born in La Grande, Oregon, he attended Reed College in Portland, Oregon and received his PhD in psychology from the University of Iowa in 1931 and earned a Doctor of Science degree from the University of Paris for research in neurobiology. He did his most important research with Wilder Penfield at McGill University.
- In 1972 he was made an Officer of the Order of Canada.
- In 1985 he was awarded the McLaughlin Medal by the Royal Society of Canada.
- In 1995 he was inducted into the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame.
- In 1996 he was made a Grand Officer of the National Order of Quebec.
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