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23 December in the History of Psychology

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On December 23:

1869 — German biochemist Friedrich Miescher mailed a report announcing his discovery of "nuclein" to the Medical-Chemical Journal. Nuclein was later named nucleic acid by Richard Altmann (1889) and even later was found to be composed of DNA and RNA. Meischer was the first to identify this substance and confirm that it was found in the nuclei of all cells.

1907 — Donald B. Lindsley was born. Lindsley is known for his research on the reticular activating system and the activation theory of emotion. APA Distinguished Scientific Contribution Award, 1959.

1912 — The second Congress of Polish Neurologists, Psychiatrists, and Psychologists ended in Cracow. At this congress, the Polish Neuro-Psychiatric Society was formed.

1938 — The drug phenobarbital was first approved for use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. It was marketed as Dantol (Hoover). Luminal is also a trade name for phenobarbital. Phenobarbital is a barbiturate used as an antianxiety medication and as a sedative.

1977 — In Halderman v. Pennhurst State School and Hospital, a U.S. District Court found restrictive conditions at the institution for people with mental retardation violated the ban on "separate but equal" schools. The decision strengthened the use of the "least restrictive treatment" principle, even though the U.S. Supreme Court later reversed the decision on technical grounds. The case was eventually settled in 1984.

1977 — The antidepressant drug Limbitrol (Hoffman-LaRoche) was approved for use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Limbitrol is a combination of the tricyclic antidepressant amitriptyline (Elavil) and the benzodiazepine antianxiety drug chlordiazepoxide (Librium).

1985 — In an amendment to the Animal Welfare Act, Congress required primate researchers to provide a "physical environment adequate to promote the psychological well-being of primates." The law promoted research on behavioral correlates of laboratory environments and altered experimental practices.