Robert Galbraith Heath

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
For other people named Robert Heath, see Robert Heath (disambiguation).

Dr. Robert Galbraith Heath (9 May 1915 – 24 September 1999) was an American psychiatrist. He followed the theory of biological psychiatry that organic defects were the sole source of mental illness,[1] and that consequently mental problems were treatable by physical means.

Heath founded the Department of Psychiatry and Neurology at Tulane University, New Orleans, in 1949 and remained its chairman until 1980.[2] He performed many experiments there involving electrical stimulation of the brain via surgically implanted electrodes.[3][4] This work was partially financed by the CIA and the US military.[5]

Heath also experimented with the drug bulbocapnine to induce stupor, using prisoners in the Louisiana State Penitentiary as experimental subjects.[6] He later worked on schizophrenia, which he regarded as an illness with a physical basis.[7]

See also[edit]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ Heath, R.G. (1961) Reappraisal of biological aspects of psychiatry. Journal of Neuropsychiatry 3: 1-11.
  2. ^ In Memoriam: Robert Galbraith Heath, MD, DMSci (1915–1999). Neurology 54(2): 286.
  3. ^ Heath, R.G. (1963) Electrical self-stimulation of the brain in man. American Journal of Psychiatry 120: 571-577.
  4. ^ Moan, C.E., & Heath, R.G. (1972) Septal stimulation for the initiation of heterosexual activity in a homosexual male. Journal of Behavior Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry 3: 23-30.
  5. ^ "Robert Heath at Wireheading". 1977-08-02. Retrieved 2013-07-27. 
  6. ^ Scheflin, A.W. & Opton, E.M. (1978) The Mind Manipulators: a non-fiction account. (Paddington Press: New York) ISBN 0-448-22977-3 pp. 314-315.
  7. ^ Heath, R.G. (1967) Schizophrenia: pathogenetic theories. International Journal of Psychiatry 3(5): 407-10.