Warrington, Elizabeth


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Elizabeth Warrington spent her entire working life at the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery. When she joined the Hospital in 1954, Neuropsychology did not exist as a separate discipline. Indeed, it was not until 1982 that she was able to establish an independent department of Clinical Neuropsychology. According to Warrington:

“Until I retired my first task was to provide clinical services to the hospital. This I believe was very beneficial to my research endeavours. One was in the position to observe phenomenon that demanded investigation and explanation. I have been fortunate during all my time at the National to enjoy the support and active cooperation of my Neurologist and neurosurgical colleagues to carry out single case studies, small group studies and consecutive series of studies of patients with a great variety of neurological conditions.”
Warrington's PhD research was on the 'visual completion' effect, where patients report seeing a complete geometric figure, despite a part of it being presented to a 'blind' hemisphere of the brain. In collaboration with Lawrence Weiskrantz, she made a number of important discoveries, of, for instance, intact memories in amnesic patients and 'blindsight'. Together with Weiskrantz, she researched 'implicit memory', and with later collaboration with Tim Shallice she continued her work on the neuropsychology of memory.
Warrington retired in 1996, although she continues to work with the Dementia Research Team at the National Hospital and St. Mary's Hospital.
Written by: Member of the Course Team using information supplied by Elizabeth Warrington.