Robert Galbraith Heath

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For other people named Robert Heath, see Robert Heath (disambiguation).

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. He published 360 papers and published three books.[2][3]

Heath founded the Department of Psychiatry and Neurology at Tulane University, New Orleans, in 1949 and remained its chairman until 1980.[4][5][6] He performed many experiments there involving electrical stimulation of the brain via surgically implanted electrodes. He placed DBS electrodes into the brains of 38 patients or more.[7][8] This work was partially financed by the CIA and the US military.[9]

Heath also experimented with the drug bulbocapnine to induce stupor, using prisoners in the Louisiana State Penitentiary as experimental subjects.[10] He later worked on schizophrenia, which he regarded as an illness with a physical basis.[11]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Heath, R.G. (1961) Reappraisal of biological aspects of psychiatry. Journal of Neuropsychiatry 3: 1-11.
  2. ^ Robert Galbraith Heath, MD
  3. ^ 165 articles of Dr. R.G. Heath at the National Center for Biotechnology Information
  4. ^ In Memoriam: Robert Galbraith Heath, MD, DMSci (1915–1999). Neurology 54(2): 286.
  5. ^ "Chronic cerebellar stimulation in the modulation of behavior" Acta Neurol Latinoam. 1980;26(3):143-53. PMID 6807046. Correa AJ, Llewellyn RC, Epps J, Jarrott D, Eiswirth C, Heath RG.
  6. ^ "The cerebellar pacemaker for intractable behavioral disorders and epilepsy:followup" Biol Psychiatry. 1980 Apr;15(2):243-56. Authors Heath RG, Llewellyn RC, Rouchell AM. PMID 7417614
  7. ^ Heath, R.G. (1963) Electrical self-stimulation of the brain in man. American Journal of Psychiatry 120: 571-577.
  8. ^ 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.
  9. ^ "Robert Heath at Wireheading". 1977-08-02. Retrieved 2013-07-27. 
  10. ^ 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.
  11. ^ Heath, R.G. (1967) Schizophrenia: pathogenetic theories. International Journal of Psychiatry 3(5): 407-10.

External links[edit]