Patricia S. Goldman-Rakic, Ph.D., a world leader in the study of the brain’s cellular mechanisms for memory and cognition, has been appointed the Eugene Higgins Professor of Neurobiology.

Goldman-Rakic has conducted much of her research on the prefrontal cortex, the brain area most concerned with reasoning and thought. She has studied such issues as the development and organization of this area’s neural circuitry and its physiological and pharmacological properties in relation to its memory functions. Her work has shown how the modular structure of neural connections constrains these functions.

Before joining the Yale faculty in 1979, Goldman-Rakic was chief of the section of developmental neurobiology at the National Institute of Mental Health. She is a fellow or member of the National Academy of Sciences, the Institute of Medicine, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the Society for Neuroscience. She served as president of the latter organization in 1990.