Memoir

Neal E. Miller

Yale University

August 3, 1909 - March 23, 2002


Election Year: 1958
Scientific Discipline: Psychological and Cognitive Sciences
Membership Type: Member

Neal Miller contributed to the clarification of the psychological concept of conditioning. Focusing his work on biofeedback—using instruments to measure physiological response—he found that the autonomic nervous system could be classically conditioned. He also concluded that an organism could undergo operant conditioning after having been classically conditioned. Combining behavior and psychoanalytical concepts, he examined the idea of anxiety as a biological signal of danger.

Miller earned his undergraduate degree from the University of Washington and went on to earn his master’s degree from Stanford University and his PhD from Yale University. He was a social science research fellow at the Institute of Psychoanalysis in Vienna and went on to teach psychology at Yale University. In 1964 he was awarded the National Medal of Science by President Johnson. He taught at Rockefeller University from 1966 to 1981.

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