Sigmund Exner is known for his work in comparative physiology and his studies of perception psychology from a physiological standpoint. He conducted important research on the localization of behavioral functionality in the brain, in particular studies on the functional architecture of the visual cortex. Exner investigated color contrast, hue adaptation, apparent motion, and the sensitivity of retinal regeneration. In 1899, he co-founded the Phonogrammarchiv in Vienna, an archive recording acoustic phenomena for scientific purposes.
Son of a musician and a voice teacher, Pierre Schaeffer received a Catholic education, practiced theater as a boy scout, and learned to play the cello at the conservatory in Nancy. He chose to pursue engineering, gaining admission to the Polytechnique in 1929, where he continued his work in theater, followed by studies at the Supélec (top-ranked graduate school for electrical engineering).