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Robert McCarley

robert mccarley, robert mccarley harvard
Robert W McCarley, MD, is Chair and Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and the VA Boston Healthcare System He is also Director of the Laboratory of Neuroscience located at the Brockton VA Medical Center and the McLean Hospital McClarley is a prominent researcher in the field of sleep and dreaming as well as schizophrenia

McCarley graduated from Harvard College in 1959 and Harvard Medical School in 1964 During his residency at Massachusetts Mental Health Center, he studied with J Allan Hobson In 1977, Hobson and McCarley developed the activation synthesis theory of dreaming that said that dreams do not have meanings and are the result of the brain attempting to make sense of random neuronal firing in the cortex1 McCarley has extensively studied the brainstem mechanisms that control REM sleep2 Additionally, he has studied the buildup of adenosine in the basal forebrain following sleep deprivation3

In the area of schizophrenia, McCarley has studied brain abnormalities in patients with schizophrenia McCarley and Martha Shenton published a classic paper in 1992 that described a relationship in a reduction in the volume of the left superior temporal gyrus and thought disorder in patients with schizophrenia4

McCarley has been presented with many awards for his research In 1998, he received William S Middleton Award which is the highest honor awarded to a VA biomedical research scientist5 He has also been presented awards from the Sleep Research Society, American Psychiatric Association, and American Academy of Sleep Medicine

In 2007, McCarley was ranked as the ninth most cited author in the field of schizophrenia research over the past decade6 McCarley has published around 300 research articles and several books and book chapters such as Brain Control of Wakefulness and Sleep7


  1. ^ Hobson JA, McCarley RW The brain as a dream state generator: an activation-synthesis hypothesis of the dream process Am J Psychiatry 1977 Dec;13412:1335-48
  2. ^ McCarley RW Neurobiology of REM and NREM sleep Sleep Med 2007 Jun;84:302-30
  3. ^ Basheer R, Strecker RE, Thakkar MM, McCarley RW Adenosine and sleep-wake regulation Prog Neurobiol 2004 Aug;736:379-96
  4. ^ Shenton ME, Kikinis R, Jolesz FA, et al Abnormalities of the left temporal lobe and thought disorder in schizophrenia A quantitative magnetic resonance imaging study N Engl J Med 1992 Aug 27;3279:604-12
  5. ^ VA Research Awards Program
  6. ^ Essential Science Indicators, Special Topics-Schizophrenia
  7. ^ Steriade MM and McCarley RW Brain Control of Wakefulness and Sleep Springer; 2nd ed edition, 2005

External linksedit

  • An ESSAY with Dr Robert McCarley
  • Faculty Profile, Harvard Medical School

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Robert McCarley

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