Dr. Lennart Heimer, the famous neuroanatomist of Swedish descent, died last year but left a legacy that will impact the neurosciences and potentially psychosurgery for years to come. He developed an anatomical technique for demonstrating the terminal boutons that helped to delineate basal forebrain anatomy. During these studies, he realized the relationship of basal forebrain structures to the limbic system, thus initiating the concept of the ventral striatum and parallel basal ganglia circuitry.
Heimer excelled as a teacher as well and honed his brain dissection technique to one of the most effective tools for understanding neuroanatomy. His legendary sessions with neurosurgical residents resulted in his recognition as one of the world’s leading fiber tract dissectors. His gentle, engaging manner has been documented in several media formats.