Stephen Suomi

Stephen Suomi

Stephen Suomi is chief of the Laboratory of Comparative Ethology at the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) in Bethesda, Maryland. He is also a research professor at the University of Virginia, the University of Maryland, and the Johns Hopkins University. He is involved with the Experience-based Brain & Biological Development Program, launched in 2003 by the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research. [ "Profile for Stephen Suomi"] , Canadian Institute for Advanced Research.]

Suomi was elected as a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science for his contributions to the understanding of how socialization affects the psychological development of non-human primates. He worked in the 1970s as a research assistant to psychologist Harry Harlow, running some of Harlow's vertical-chamber apparatus isolation tests on infant rhesus macaques. Blum, Deborah. "Love at Goon Park". Perseus, p. 219.]

Education and career

Suomi received a B.A. in psychology from Stanford University in 1968, and a Ph.D. in the same subject from the University of Wisconsin in 1971. He became a full professor with the university's psychology department in 1984, and began to work for the NICHD in 1983.


Suomi describes his current research interests as focusing on the role of genetic and environmental factors in shaping individual psychological development in non-human primates; the effect of change on psychological development; and whether findings on monkeys in captivity can translate to monkeys living in the wild, and between human beings of different cultures.

ee also

*Animal testing
*Harry Harlow
*Pit of despair


Further reading

*Blum, Deborah. "The Monkey Wars". Oxford University Press, 1994.

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