Rudolf Nieuwenhuys, Comparative Neuroanatomist

These are the personal pages of Prof. Dr. Rudolf Nieuwenhuys.


Rudolf Nieuwenhuys graduated from the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Amsterdam in 1954. Despite his education as a physician, he was never anthropocentric in his focus. On the contrary, he was inspired by the amazing morphological diversity in vertebrate brains in such a way that the field of comparative neuroanatomy became a natural choice for him. In becoming a comparative neuroanatomist, he followed the footsteps of C.U. Ariëns Kappers, the illustrious first director of the Central Institute for Brain Research in Amsterdam, i.e., the predecessor of the NIN.


He published the following three books: (1) The Human Central Nervous System (with Jan Voogd and Chris van Huyzen) This book went through three editions (1978, 1981, 1988), and was translated into German, Italian, Spanish, Greek, Chinese and Japanese. The German Edition was in 1982 awarded with the “Silbermedaille der Internationalen Buchkunst-Ausstellung” in Leipzig. (2) The Central Nervous System of Cartilaginous Fishes (1983), with Wil Smeets and Barry Roberts. (3) The Chemoarchitecture of the Brain (1985). A Japanese translation of this book appeared in 1991.


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Selected publications

Nieuwenhuys, R. The forebrain of Actinopterygians revisited. Brain Behavior and Evolution 73 (2009) 229-252.

Nieuwenhuys, R. The structural organization of the forebrain: a commentary on the papers presented at the 20th annual Karger workshop `Forebrain evolution in fishes´. Brain Behavior and Evolution 74 (2009) 77-85.

Nieuwenhuys, R. On old and new comparative neurological sinners: The evolutionary importance of the membranous parts of the actinopterygian forebrain and their sites of attachment. Journal of Comparative Neurology 516 (2009) 87-93.

Nieuwenhuys, R. Analysis of the structure of the brain stem of mammals by means of a modified D´Arcy Thompson procedure. Brain Structure and Function 214 (2009) 79-85.