Paul Eugen Bleuler (1857–1939)
Paul Eugen Bleuler studied autism and schizophrenia, among other psychiatric disorders, throughout continental Europe in the early twentieth century. Bleuler worked as a psychiatrist caring for patients with psychiatric disorders at a variety of facilities in Europe. In 1908, Bleuler coined the term schizophrenia to describe a group of diseases that cause changes in thought processes and behavior in humans as well as difficulties relating to the world. Bleuler also introduced the concepts of autism, which he defined as a disconnect from the outside world, and ambivalence, which he defined as the coexistence of conflicting ideas in one’s mind. Bleuler’s concepts enabled later researchers, such as Bernard Rimland, to study the causes of those disorders, and to suggest that abnormal development of fetal brains potentially caused those disorders.