On the its homepage on Friday, Google honored Wilder Penfield, a neurosurgeon and researcher from Montreal known for having developed a treatment against epilepsy.
Born in Washington State, Wilder Penfield was recruited by McGill University in 1928. In 1934, he founded the Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital, affiliated with McGill.
The surgical method he developed during the 1930s to treat epilepsy destroys the brain cells that are responsible for this disease. During the procedure, performed under local anesthesia, patients can describe their sensations when certain parts of their brain are stimulated. The technique was named the “Montreal Procedure” and Penfield used it to map the human cerebral cortex.
In Penfield’s Heritage Minute, we recall the case of a patient who said she smelled burnt toast while she was being operated on. This anecdote is represented in the animation created by Google.
Dr. Penfield died in Montreal in 1976. He is now 127 years old.
In Montreal, Dr. Penfield Avenue was named in his honor.