It is particularly fitting that at this reception of members of the Canadian Neurological and Clinical Neurophysiologists Societies at the American Academy of Neurology we should honour Dr. Herbert Jasper. He is, at the age of 90, a living legend in the neurosciences. It is a rare opportunity for the young people who have followed him to meet a pioneer of his generation, let alone somebody who continues to this day to exercise his wise counsel and his extraordinary grasp of the working of the human brain.
Herbert Jasper, like Wilder Penfield, was born in the west of the United States, and, like his friend and colleague, became a Canadian and a founder of Canadian Neuroscience.
Jasper started his career as a psychologist of physiological persuasion and studied with Lapique who is remembered for his studies on chronaxie, in Paris. He became aware of Berger’s writings on the electroencephalogram and realized early the enormous potential of being able to record the electrical activity generated by the human brain. In the 30s, two schools of epilepsy developed in North America: the medical with William Lennox in Boston, and the surgical with Wilder Penfield in Montreal.