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A history of human neuropsychology in the United Kingdom

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E-pub ahead of print
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Abstract

This chapter traces the history of human neuropsychology in the United Kingdom, particularly developments in the twentieth century. It considers five factors that contributed to the emergence of neuropsychology in twentieth-century Britain: a set of beliefs, concepts, and debates about the relations between brain structure and function; increasing specialization and professionalization of both science and medicine; sites where brain-behavior relations could be explored; the role of personal networks and elites; and introduction of technologies for analyzing the brain and psychological qualities. It discusses the stagnation of neuropsychology in Britain during the period 1900–1939 and how the discipline’s promise was sustained until its fuller development after World War II, in part due to the creation of the National Health Service (NHS). Finally, it explains how neuropsychology has become separated from areas such as neurology and became firmly established as an academic subdiscipline and an element of clinical practice in Britain.