Irving A. Woods, 58, a former Army research psychologist who had been an official of the National Institutes of Health for more than 15 years, died Tuesday at Holy Cross Hospital in Silver Spring after a heart attack.

Dr. Woods joined NIH in 1962 as executive secretary of the behavioral sciences study section in the division of research grants.

Later that year, he became health scientist administrator for the National Institute of Neurological and Communicative Disorders and Stroke, the position he held until his death. He was responsible for monitoring research grant programs in hearing, language, and speech.

Dr. Woods came to Washington and began working as a civilian research psychologist for the Army in 1947. He worked for the Army's Research Institute for Behavioral and Social Sciences for about 10 years. During this time he helped develop a night vision laboratory.

In 1958, he joined the Army's Human Engineering Laboratory at the Aberdeen Proving Grounds as a supervisory research psychologist in charge of basic research. He was an authority in the field of visual acuity.

He also directed the laboratory's animal facility and helped test the ability of animals in visual perception. He left the laboratory in 1962 to join NIH.

Dr. Woods was born in New York City. He earned a bachelor's degree at Queens College in New York, a master's degree at New York University, and a doctorate in psychology at American University.

He served in the Army Air Corps during World War II.

Dr. Woods had taught courses in psychology at the University of Maryland for a number of years.

His professional memberships included the American Psychological Association and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

He was a resident of Silver Spring.

Survivors include a son, Dr. Robin L., of Pikesville, Md.; a daughter, Susan W. Bell, of Columbia, Md.; his mother, Pauline Woods, of New York City; two sisters, Evelyn Rovinsky, of Long Island, N.Y., and Anita Lefton, of Miami, and three grandchildren.