Richard Gregory bigraphy, stories - Psychologists

Richard Gregory : biography

24 July 1923 - 17 May 2010
For the editor of Nature, see Sir Richard Gregory, 1st Baronet

Richard Langton Gregory CBE FRS FRSE (24 July 1923 – 17 May 2010) was a British psychologist and Emeritus Professor of Neuropsychology at the University of Bristol.


  • (1963), with Jean Wallace, Exp. Soc. Monogr. No.2. Cambridge: Heffers. {C & M of P. pp. 65–129}.
  • Eye and Brain: The Psychology of Seeing (1966), London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson. [in twelve languages]. Second Edition (1972). Third Edition (1977). Fourth Edition (1990). USA: Princeton University Press; (1994) Oxford: Oxford University Press. Fifth Edition (1997) Oxford University Press and (1998) Princeton University Press.
  • The Intelligent Eye (1970), London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson. [in 6 languages].
  • Illusion in Nature and Art (1973), (ed with Sir Ernst Gombrich), London: Duckworth.
  • Concepts and Mechanisms of Perception (1974), London: Duckworth. [collected papers].
  • Mind in Science: A History of Explanations of Psychology and Physics (1981), London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson; USA: CUP. Paperback, Peregrine (1984). (Macmillan Scientific Book Club choice). Transl. Italian, La Mente nella, Scienze, Mondadori (1985).
  • Odd Perceptions [essays] (1986), London: Methuen. Paperback (1988) Routledge. (2nd edition 1990-91).
  • Creative Intelligences (1987), (ed with Pauline Marstrand), London: Frances Pinter. ISBN 0-86187-673-3.
  • Oxford Companion to the Mind (1987), (ed.) Oxford: OUP. [translated into Italian, French, Spanish. In TSP Softbacks, and other Book Clubs]. Paperback 1998.
  • Evolution of the Eye and Visual System (1992), (ed with John R Cronly-Dillon), Vol 2 of Vision and Visual Dysfunction. London: Macmillan.
  • Even Odder Perceptions (1994), [essays]. London: Routledge.
  • The Artful Eye (1995), (ed with J. Harris, P.Heard and D. Rose). Oxford: OUP
  • Mirrors in Mind (1997), Oxford: W. H. Freeman/Spektrum. (1998) Penguin.
  • The Mind Makers (1998), London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson.
  • Seeing Through Illusions (2009), OUP.


In 1953, he married Margaret Hope Pattison Muir, one son, one daughter (marriage dissolved 1966). In 1967, he married Freja Mary Balchin,GRO Register of Marriages: JUN 1967 5d 1808 ST PANCRAS - Richard L. Gregory = Freja M. Balchin the daughter of novelist Nigel Balchin, (marriage dissolved 1976). Gregory is survived by two children (Mark and Romilly Gregory), two grandchildren (Luutsche Ozinga and Kiran Rogers) and his long term companion Priscilla Heard.

Life and career

Richard Gregory was born in London, the son of Christopher Clive Langton Gregory and Helen Patricia. His father was an astronomer and the first Director of the University of London Observatory.Brennan, J. (2010), "Richard Gregory (1923 - 2010)", in The Psychologist, Vol 23. No 7, July 2010, p. 541.

Gregory served with the Royal Air Force's Signals branch during World War II, and after the war earned an RAF scholarship to the Downing College, Cambridge. One of Sir Frederic Bartlett's last pupils at Cambridge, Gregory admitted to having been inspired by him."One on One with Richard Gregory", The Psychologist, Vol 21, No 6, June 2008, p 568 He was made an Honorary Fellow of Downing in 1999.

In 1967, with Prof. Donald Michie and Prof. Christopher Longuet-Higgins FRS, he founded the Department of Machine Intelligence and Perception, a forerunner of the Department of Artificial Intelligence at the University of Edinburgh. He was Head of the Bionics Research Laboratory, Professor of Bionics, and Department Chairman 1968-70.

He was a founding member of the Experimental Psychology Society and served as its President in 1981-2.

He collaborated with W. E. Hick for the latter's influential paper "On the rate of gain of information". In fact, he commented "... I was the only subject for his gain of information experiment to complete the course, as he was the only other subject and he packed it in when the apparatus fell apart".

Living octopus

Living octopus

In countries which are located near sea coasts, sea food is an important part of national cuisine