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Margaret Alice Kennard (September 25, 1899—December 12, 1975)[1] was a neurologist who principally studied the effects of neurological damage on primates. Her work led to the creation of the Kennard Principle, which posits a negative linear relationship between age of brain lesion and outcome expectancy.[1]

Schooling and studiesEdit

She earned a Rockefeller Traveling Fellowship for study in Western Europe from 1934 to 1936.[2] She also studied the effects of stimulants and cortical depressants on monkeys with brain damage.[2]

Kennard PrincipleEdit

File:Kennard Principle.jpg

The observation that young brains reorganize more effectively than adult brains was first articulated by Kennard in 1936. Consequently, the notion that how well a brain can reorganize itself after damage as a function of the developmental stage is now known as the "Kennard principle".[3] This research led to one of the earliest experimental evidence for age effects on neuroplasticity.

She worked closely with John Fulton in her famous infant brain studies.


  1. 1.0 1.1 Dennis, Maureen, Margaret Kennard (1899–1975): Not a ‘Principle’ of brain plasticity but a founding mother of developmental neuropsychology, Cortex, Volume 46, Issue 8, September 2010, Pages 1043-1059, ISSN 0010-9452.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Finger, Stanley. Margaret Kennard on Sparing and Recovery of Function: A Tribute on The 100th anniversary of Her Birth. Journal of the History of the Neurosciences. Vol. 8, Iss. 3, 1999.
  3. Freberg, L. Discovering biological psychology. 2nd. Wadsworth Pub Co, 2009. 251. Print.

External linksEdit

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