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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Henri Laborit (November 21, 1914 – May 18, 1995) was a French physician, writer and philosopher.

Laborit was born in Hanoi, Vietnam and started his career as a neurosurgeon in the Marines and then moved on to fundamental research. He won the prestigious Albert Lasker Award for Clinical Medical Research in 1957. Laborit later became a research head at Boucicault Hospital in Paris.

His interests included psychotropic drugs, eutonology, and memory. He pioneered the use of dopamine antagonists to reduce shock in injured soldiers. His observation that people treated with these drugs showed reduced interest in their surroundings led to their later use as antipsychotics[1]. He was also the first researcher to study GHB, in the early 1960s. He hoped that it would be an orally bioavailable precursor to the neurotransmitter GABA, but it proved to have other uses and was later discovered as an endogenous neurotransmitter.


Cultural references

He appeared in the 1980 Alain Resnais film Mon oncle d'Amérique, which is built around the ideas of Laborit and uses the stories of three people to illustrate theories deriving from evolutionary psychology regarding the relationship of self and society. This movie includes short sequences of rats expiriments that are used to illustrate the behaviors of some of the characters in different situations (such as inhibition in the action [2]).

The French-born American market researcher Clotaire Rapaille considered Laborit to be an important influence in his work.[1]


  • Physiologie et biologie du système nerveux végétatif au service de la chirurgie (1950)
  • L’anesthésie facilitée par les synergies médicamenteuses (1951)
  • Réaction organique à l’agression et choc (1952)
  • Pratique de l’hibernothérapie en chirurgie et en médecine (1954)
  • Résistance et soumission en physio-biologie : l’hibernation artificielle (1954)
  • Excitabilité neuro-musculaire et équilibre ionique. Intérêt pratique en chirurgie et hibernothérapie (1955)
  • Le delirium tremens (1956)
  • Bases physio-biologiques et principes généraux de réanimation (1958)
  • Les destins de la vie et de l’homme. Controverses par lettres sur des thèmes biologiques (1959)
  • Physiologie humaine (cellulaire et organique) (1961)
  • Du soleil à l’homme (1963)
  • Les régulations métaboliques (1965)
  • Biologie et structure (1968)
  • Neurophysiologie. Aspects métaboliques et pharmacologiques (1969)
  • L’Homme imaginant : Essai de biologie politique (1970)
  • L’homme et la ville (1971)
  • L’agressivité détournée : Introduction à une biologie du comportement social (1970)
  • La Société informationnelle : Idées pour l’autogestion (1973)
  • Les Comportements : Biologie, physiologie, pharmacologie (1973)
  • La Nouvelle grille (1974)
  • L’Éloge de la fuite (1976)
  • Discours sans méthode (1978)
  • L’Inhibition de l’action (1979)
  • La Colombe assassinée (1983)
  • Dieu ne joue pas aux dés (1987)
  • La vie antérieure (1987)
  • Les récepteurs centraux et la transduction de signaux (1990)
  • L’esprit dans le grenier (1992)
  • Étoiles et molécules (1992)
  • La légende des comportements (1994)
  • Une Vie - Derniers entretiens (1996)

See also


  1. ^ Diaz, Jaime. How Drugs Influence Behavior. Englewood Cliffs: Prentice Hall, 1996.
  2. ^ Laborit, Henri (1979). L'inhibition de l'action. Masson.  

External links


Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

Henri Laborit (21 November 191418 May 1995) was a French physician, writer and philosopher.


  • Douter ca ne peut être que bon, le doute ce n’est pas la négation, c’est l’attente de quelque chose d’autre… le doute c’est de ne jamais croire qu’on est arrivé à appréhender l’ensemble.
    • Doubting can only be a good thing, doubt is not a negation, but the waiting of something else. ... Doubting, it’s believing that we never had understood the whole thing.
    • As quoted in "The Life of Henri Laborit" by Géraud Chauvin
  • Je me demande toujours Pourquoi? Pourquoi la vie? Pourquoi la peur? Ma plus grande peur c'est de calquer sans avoir compris "Pourquoi la peur?"
    • I always wonder Why? Why life? Why fear? My biggest fear in life is to die without having understood "Why the fear?"
    • As quoted in "The Life of Henri Laborit" by Géraud Chauvin
  • Mais en vertu de quel principe biologique fondamental, le plus grand nombre serait-il préservé de l’erreur?
    • What fundamental biological principle gives the biggest number the right to think they are preserved from error?
    • As quoted in "The Life of Henri Laborit" by Géraud Chauvin


  • In times like this escape is the only way to stay alive and continue to dream.
  • The essential of a being to be it's being ...
  • The human-being is animal who talk and believe in the reality of his own words ...
  • All those are just words, for us they are mechanisms ...
  • Without memory there is no Love , no pain , no pleasure, no satisfaction ...
  • A brain (nervous-system) is not made to think but to act !
  • The order can only be from the disorder cause only the disorder can make new associations ...
  • We are only the others cause they (the others) full filed our memories ...
  • How could we believe in the existence of the unconscious because this one is by definition unconscious ...
  • To go on the moon, we need to know the laws of gravity, when we know those laws it doesn t mean that we free ourselves from them but we can use them for something else ...
  • It's for this reason that I'm fighting against "freedom" ...

External links

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