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Wilfrid Rall computational neuroscience research collection

 Collection
Call Number: Ms Coll 83

Scope and Contents

Wilfrid Rall (1922-2018) was a neuroscientist whose work focused on the electrical properties of neurons and the functions of neuronal dendrites. His development of cable theory and the compartmental modeling approach for studying dendrites and synaptic integration helped found the discipline of computational neuroscience. The collection documents his research from 1963-1971, particularly his collaborative work with Gordon Shepherd using the compartmental modeling method to study the functional organization of the olfactory bulb.

Series I. Notebooks, 1963-1971, includes 10 hardcover notebooks and 1 composition book documenting his research on dendritic function. Loose materials from the notebooks have been moved to adjacent folders. Rall's summary of contents from the first page of each notebook and Shepherd's content notes from his website Shepherd Lab: Wilfrid Rall Archive (https://medicine.yale.edu/lab/shepherd/projects/rall/) have been recorded in a scope and content note for each notebook.

Series II. Correspondence, 1964-1966, includes Gordon Shepherd's correspondence documenting his collaboration with Rall using the compartmental modeling method to study the functional organization of the olfactory bulb. The series includes original correspondence received by Shepherd and drafts or copies of correspondence sent by Shepherd. In addition to Shepherd, correspondents include Charles Phillips, Tom Powell, Wilfrid Rall, Thomas Reese, and others.

Series III. Additional materials, 1965-2020, includes reprints of related journal articles, obituaries for Rall, and an unpublished manuscript "Working with Wilfrid Rall: Documents from the origins of computational neuroscience 1957-1968" written by Shepherd.

Dates

  • 1963 - 2020

Creator

Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for research.

Existence and Location of Copies

Digital copies of Wilfrid Rall's research notebooks from this collection may be accessed on the Yale School of Medicine/Shepherd Lab website Wilfrid Rall Archive: Pioneer of Dendritic Function and Computational Neuroscience.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright has not been transferred to Yale University for unpublished materials in the collection. Copyright status for other collection materials is unknown. Transmission or reproduction of materials protected by U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.) beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owners. Works not in the public domain cannot be commercially exploited without permission of the copyright owners. Responsibility for any use rests exclusively with the user.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Gordon Shepherd and the family of Wilfrid Rall, 2021.

Arrangement

The collection is arranged in three series: Series I. Notebooks, 1963-1971. Series II. Correspondence, 1964-1966, and Series III. Additional materials, 1965-2020.

Extent

1.5 Linear Feet (2 boxes)

Language of Materials

English

Persistent URL

http://hdl.handle.net/10079/fa/med.ms.0083

Overview

Wilfrid Rall (1922-2018) was a neuroscientist whose work focused on the electrical properties of neurons and the functions of neuronal dendrites. His development of cable theory and the compartmental modeling approach for studying dendrites and synaptic integration helped found the discipline of computational neuroscience. The collection includes 11 of Rall's notebooks documenting his research on dendritic function from 1959-1971, Gordon Shepherd's correspondence documenting his collaboration with Rall using the compartmental modeling method to study the functional organization of the olfactory bulb, reprints of related journal articles, obituaries for Rall, and an unpublished manuscript "Working with Wilfrid Rall: Documents from the origins of computational neuroscience 1957-1968" written by Shepherd.

Biographical / Historical

Wilfrid Rall (1922-2018) trained as a physicist at Yale University (BS 1943) and participated in the Manhattan Project at the University of Chicago during WW II. He studied biophysics at the University of Chicago (MS 1948) and studied physiology with John Carew Eccles at the University of Otago in Dunedin, New Zealand (PhD 1953). From 1955-56 he worked with David Lloyd and Carleton Hunt at the Rockefeller Institute and Bernard Katz in London then joined the Navy Research Laboratories in Bethesda, Maryland. In 1957 Rall joined the Mathematical Research Branch of the National Institutes of Health, where he worked for the remainder of his career.

Rall is regarded as one of the founders of modern neuroscience. His work in establishing the integrative functions of neuronal dendrites included developing the use of cable theory, as well as passive and active compartmental modeling of the neuron, which provided a foundation for the field of computational neuroscience.

Biographical / Historical

Gordon Shepherd (1933- ) is professor of neuroscience at Yale School of Medicine. He received his BS at Iowa State College in 1955, MD at Harvard in 1959, and PhD at Oxford in 1962 and completed postdoctoral training at the National Institutes of Health, MIT, and the Karolinska Institute. His work includes introducing the olfactory system as a model for analyzing the properties of neurons and synapses in the brain and the formation of neural images of olfactory molecules. His research has contributed to the understanding of properties of neuronal dendrites and spines, olfactory processing, and development of the new fields of computational neuroscience, brain microcircuits, neuroinformatics, and neurogastronomy.

Shepherd's publications include Synaptic Organization of the Brain(5 ed.), Neurobiology (3 ed.), Handbook of Brain Microcircuits, Neurogastronomy, Foundations of the Neuron Doctrine, Creating Modern Neuroscience, and Mosso's Circulation of Blood in the Human Brain. He has been chief editor of the Journal of Neurophysiology and the Journal of Neuroscience and is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
Title
Wilfrid Rall computational neuroscience research collection
Status
Completed
Author
Katherine Isham
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard

Part of the Medical Historical Library, Cushing/Whitney Medical Library Repository

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