Sandra F. Witelson, neuroscientist, is Professor of Psychiatry & Behavioural Neurosciences and the inaugural Albert Einstein/Irving Zucker endowed Chair in Neuroscience at McMaster University, Hamilton. She heads a research program that focuses on the neurobiological basis (anatomical, chemical, genetic) of human intelligence, language and spatial ability through study of postmortem brains and neuroimaging. She has played a critical role in legitimizing new methodologies to study topics such as sex differences in the brain, sexual orientation and the biological basis of intelligence.
Over the years, her research has contributed to the brain basis of dyslexia, the hard-wiring of the brain for language localization to the left hemisphere, neural factors in sexual orientation and the association of brain size and intelligence. She developed a unique brain collection for research from normal men and women who had extensive neuropsychological documentation. It was this collection that allowed her to report on the brain of Albert Einstein. Although never the aim of her research, she and her colleagues repeatedly demonstrated differences in brain structure and function between men and women, girls and boys.