Alexander R. Luria (1902-1977) was one of the most influential researchers of the 20th century in the field of psychology. He was a major contributor to the development of cognitive psychology, and his work has had a lasting impact on current research.

Luria was born and raised in Kazan, Russia. He received his medical degree from the University of Kazan in 1924 and then moved to Moscow to pursue further studies in neurology and psychology. His early research focused on brain damage and rehabilitation, and he developed the concept of “dynamic aphasia,” which is the inability to produce or understand speech due to brain injury. Luria also developed the concept of “deficit syndrome,” a term used to describe the cognitive deficits resulting from brain damage.

In the 1930s, Luria began to focus his research on the study of cognitive processes. He developed the concept of “functional localization” which states that certain functions are localized to specific areas of the brain. He also developed the “multiple-functioning principle” which states that different cognitive processes are mediated by different brain regions.

In the 1940s, Luria developed the “activity theory” which states that cognitive activity is organized into three stages: analysis, synthesis, and evaluation. He also developed the “cognitive-affective system” which states that cognitive activity is affected by emotions and motivation.

In the 1950s, Luria developed the “cultural-historical approach” which states that learning and cognition are shaped by culture, history, and individual experience. He also developed the “neuropsychology of language” which focused on the link between language and brain function.

Throughout his career, Luria conducted a number of groundbreaking studies on a variety of topics, including memory, problem-solving, language, and attention. His work has had a major influence on the fields of psychology, neurology, and cognitive science.


Luria, A. R. (1976). Cognitive development: Its cultural and social foundations. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

Luria, A. R. (1966). Higher cortical functions in man. New York, NY: Basic Books.

Kolb, B., & Whishaw, I. Q. (2003). Fundamentals of human neuropsychology (5th ed). New York, NY: Worth Publishers.

Luria, A. R., & Tsvetkova, L. S. (1966). Human brain and psychological processes. New York, NY: Harper & Row.

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