In honor of Women’s History Month lets highlight the life and work of Dr. Patricia Goldman-Rakic (1937-2003), who had been a Professor of Neurology and Psychiatry at Yale University.

Dr. Patricia Goldman-Rakic

According to Discover Magazine:
The persistent firing of neurons in the prefrontal cortex is the “glue of consciousness,” says neurobiologist Goldman-Rakic. “It allows one event in time to connect to another and forms our working memory.” Her pioneering studies show that when this circuitry breaks down because of, for example, fetal damage or substance abuse, our thinking gets derailed, and we’re easily distracted and confused. “The inability to keep a coherent line of thought is one of the cardinal symptoms of schizophrenia and other memory disorders like Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and childhood attention-deficit disorder.” 

She was especially notable for her work on dopamine and Parkinson’s disease, as well as for being a mentor to other women scientists.

See Discover Magazine’s article on the top 50 women in science here.