[ sper-ee ]
/ ˈspɛr i /
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Elmer Ambrose, 1860–1930, U.S. inventor and manufacturer.
Roger Wolcott, 1913–94, U.S. neurobiologist: Nobel Prize 1981.
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Words nearby Sperry
spermotoxin, spermous, sperm washing, sperm whale, Sperrin Mountains, Sperry, sperrylite, spessartite, speug, spew, Spey
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How to use Sperry in a sentence
In 1905, Elmer Sperry invented his gyroscopic compass which is unaffected by terrestrial magnetism and points to the true north.Invention|Bradley A. Fiske
Admiral Sperry, though not imposing or impressive in any way, seemed pleasant and keen, and was tall.A Journal from Japan|Marie Carmichael Stopes
For at the corner of Sperry Street he was met by a messenger who knew him.The Clarion|Samuel Hopkins Adams
The financial success was due very largely to the State treasurer, Mrs. Austin Sperry.The Life and Work of Susan B. Anthony (Volume 2 of 2)|Ida Husted Harper
In this very town of Cheltenham a young poet, named Sperry, who betrayed freethink-ing tendencies, had been called upon to recant.The History Of The Last Trial By Jury For Atheism In England|George Jacob Holyoake
Scientific definitions for Sperry
Roger Wolcott 1913-1994
[ spĕr′ē ]
American neurobiologist who pioneered the behavioral investigation of split-brain animals and humans, establishing that each hemisphere of the brain controls specific higher functions. He shared with American neurophysiologist David H. Hubel and Swedish neurophysiologist Torsten N. Wiesel the 1981 Nobel Prize for physiology or medicine.
Ever wondered what it's like to see the world upside-down and backwards? Some salamanders found out in the 1930s. They were experimental subjects in the lab of Roger Sperry, who had made his first big splash on the scientific community by showing that the functions of specific motor nerves in mammals were hardwired and unchangeable. Salamanders, unlike mammals, can regenerate nerves, so Sperry cut through their optic nerves and rotated their eyeballs 180 degrees. When the nerve grew back, it was somehow guided back to its original termination sites, resulting in the salamanders' visual field being radically altered. While this work was pathbreaking, Sperry's most famous experiments involved work with the brain in which the corpus callosum, the thick network of nerves that connects the left and right cerebral hemispheres, had been severed (resulting in a split brain). Sperry showed first that the hemispheres of split-brain cats learned tasks separately, and with equal facility, and were essentially independent cognitive organs. He then turned to humans, using patients whose corpora callosa had been severed as treatment for epilepsy (widely done at the time). Using these patients Sperry was able to demonstrate that the two hemispheres are functionally distinct: the left hemisphere is dominant in verbal and analytical tasks, while the right hemisphere is dominant in music and spatial tasks. The results of Sperry's and his colleagues' research led to the construction of a map of the brain and also to his sharing the Nobel Prize for physiology or medicine in 1981.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.