Dr. Donald Hebb - Early Academics

Donald (or D.O. as friends called him) was unfulfilled as a teacher, so he worked as a labourer. His search for work took him across Canada, where he encountered Sigmund Freud. Hebb described Freud as, "Obviously a very interesting fellow but, it seemed to me, not too rigorous." So, at age 23, Hebb thought, "it might not be too late for me to enter the field, which evidently had room for further work."

D.O. applied to McGill University where he was accepted for a qualifying year in psychology. He was trained in Pavlovian conditioning and said, about his Master's thesis, “My M.A. thesis, written in bed [due to illness], tried to show that skeletal reflexes are a product of intrauterine [cellular] learning. This was nonsense, but no immediate disproof was available at the time."