The legacy of Donald O. Hebb: more than the Hebb Synapse


Neuroscientists associate the name of Donald O. Hebb with the Hebbian synapse and the Hebbian learning rule, which underlie connectionist theories and synaptic plasticity, but Hebb's work has also influenced developmental psychology, neuropsychology, perception and the study of emotions, as well as learning and memory. Here, we review the work of Hebb and its lasting influence on neuroscience in honour of the 2004 centenary of his birth.

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Figure 1: Chester, Nova Scotia.
Figure 2: Dalhousie University.
Figure 3: Montreal Neurological Institute.


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We would like to thank the McGill University archives for access to Hebb's files, and Mary Ellen Hebb and Jane Hebb Paul for access to family photographs and letters.

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Correspondence to Richard E. Brown.

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The authors declare no competing financial interests.

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Brown, R., Milner, P. The legacy of Donald O. Hebb: more than the Hebb Synapse. Nat Rev Neurosci 4, 1013–1019 (2003).

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