Mortimer Mishkin (December 13, 1926 – October 2, 2021) was an American neuropsychologist, and winner of the 2009 National Medal of Science awarded in Behavior and Social Science.[1]

Life and career

Born in Fitchburg, Massachusetts in December 1926,[2] Mishkin graduated from Dartmouth College in 1946, and took a 1949 M.A. and 1951 Ph.D. from McGill University under Donald O. Hebb.[3] His Ph.D. thesis was partly directed by surgeon and theorist Karl H. Pribram.

In 2010 Mishkin won the National Medal of Science for his five decades of work on the mechanisms of cognition and memory, and the discovery that the brain processes memories in two separate processes: cognitive memory dealing with events and fresh information, and behavioral memory related to skills and habits.

As of 2016 Mishkin was Chief of the Section on Cognitive Neuroscience, Laboratory of Neuropsychology, National Institute of Mental Health, chartered to explore neurobiological mechanisms of perception and memory. He is also recognised for his role in establishing the two streams hypothesis on the organisation of extrastriate visual cortex (with Leslie Ungerleider).

Mishkin died in October 2021, at the age of 94.[4]



  1. ^ "Mortimer Mishkin Awarded the National Medal of Science". APS Observer. 23 (10). February 11, 2011. Retrieved January 8, 2020 – via
  2. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on January 26, 2017. Retrieved February 10, 2016.((cite web)): CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  3. ^ "NIMH » Principal Investigator: Mortimer Mishkin". Archived from the original on February 17, 2016. Retrieved February 10, 2016.
  4. ^ "Mortimer Mishkin Obituary - Washington, DC". Dignity Memorial. Retrieved October 3, 2021.
  5. ^ "MetLife Foundation Awards for Medical Research in Alzheimer's Disease" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on October 13, 2018.
  6. ^ "NAS Award in the Neurosciences". Retrieved January 8, 2020.