A brief history of the Symposium

From François Boller's history of the Symposium (Boller (1999): Neuropsychologia, 37:17-26)

Early History: Oliver Zangwill, in a tribute to Henry Hécaen, wrote
that the idea of the meetings was first introduced by Hécaen at a
party in his home during the meeting of the International Congress of
Psychiatry in Paris in 1949. "After dinner, Henry outlined his proposal to
found an international group to promote knowledge and understanding of
brain functions and cognate issues on the borderline of neurology,
psychology and psychiatry." (Zangwill, 1984, Neuropsychologia,

The first meeting was held in September 1951 in Mondsee, Austria. The
meeting was organized by Hans Hoff, Chair of the Neurology Department at
the University of Vienna. Co-organizers were Hécaen (France), Klaus
Conrad (Germany) and Zangwill (UK). Other participants were Eberhard Bay,
Richard Jung and Franz Günther von Stockert (Germany), Otto
Pötzl and Klaus Gloning (Austria), and Richard Oldfield, Moira
Williams, Malcolm Piercy and John MacFie (UK).

As pointed out by Boller, the Symposium has always been a meeting of
a relatively small group of individuals to hear about and discuss
various topics relevant to the field. There are usually three topics
presented over 5 days, with ample time set aside for discussion. For many
years, the number of members was held at "not more than 40"; currently the
Symposium counts 120 members and 24 Fellows from 6 geographic
regions (about 60% from Europe, 30% from North America, and 10% from
other non-European countries).