Harlan Lane is a psychologist and a linguist who investigates the distinctive language and culture of the deaf community.
An interpreter of the deaf experience to the general hearing public, Lane has written When the Mind Hears: A History of the Deaf (1984) and The Deaf Experience: Classics in Language and Education (1984). Both works are devoted to the history of the deaf in the Western world, and have been significant to the movement for the equality of opportunity for deaf people in the United States. Lane is also the author of The Wild Boy of Aveyron (1976), The Mask of Benevolence: Disabling Deaf Community (1992), and A Deaf Artist in Early America: The Worlds of John Brewster, Jr. (2004) and the co-author of A Journey into the Deaf-World (1996).
Lane is a Distinguished University Professor at Northeastern University, Boston; a research affiliate in the Research Lab of Electronics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology; and an investigator at the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, where he has been conducting research on the effects of cochlear prostheses (electronic devices that provide some audition) on the speech of deafened adults.
Lane received a B.A. and M.A. (1958) from Columbia University, a Ph.D. (1960) from Harvard University and a Doc. des Lettres (1973) from the Université de Paris.