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Luigi Galvani: Electricity and the Nerves

Stanley Finger

in Minds Behind the Brain: A history of the pioneers and their discoveries

Published in print:
2005
Published Online:
January 2010
ISBN:
9780195181821
eISBN:
9780199865277
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:
10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195181821.003.0008
Subject:
Neuroscience, History of Neuroscience

Physiologists in the opening decades of the 18th century were skeptical of existing theories about how the nerves work. Some scientists began to wonder whether the nervous system may work by ... More


Electric Fishes in Volta’s Path to the Battery

Stanley Finger and Marco Piccolino

in The Shocking History of Electric Fishes: From Ancient Epochs to the Birth of Modern Neurophysiology

Published in print:
2011
Published Online:
September 2011
ISBN:
9780195366723
eISBN:
9780199897087
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:
10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195366723.003.0022
Subject:
Neuroscience, History of Neuroscience

Alessandro Volta, the Italian physicist who would be celebrated for the invention of the electric battery (“Voltaic pile”), was Galvani's most influential and visible antagonist in the debate over ... More


Electric Fishes and the Path to Animal Electricity

C. U. M. Smith, Eugenio Frixione, Stanley Finger, and William Clower

in The Animal Spirit Doctrine and the Origins of Neurophysiology

Published in print:
2012
Published Online:
September 2012
ISBN:
9780199766499
eISBN:
9780199950263
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:
10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199766499.003.0014
Subject:
Neuroscience, History of Neuroscience

This chapter analyzes the evidence that was gathered during the last fifty years of the 18th century about the electric charges of certain fishes. It first studies what people thought about these ... More


The Allure of Electric Fishes: Humboldt’s Obsession

Stanley Finger and Marco Piccolino

in The Shocking History of Electric Fishes: From Ancient Epochs to the Birth of Modern Neurophysiology

Published in print:
2011
Published Online:
September 2011
ISBN:
9780195366723
eISBN:
9780199897087
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:
10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195366723.003.0001
Subject:
Neuroscience, History of Neuroscience

Alexander von Humboldt, a young German baron with training in the sciences, became an international celebrity in the opening decades of the 19th century as a result of his exciting and dangerous ... More


Shocking Frogs: Galvani, Volta, and the Electric Origins of Neuroscience

Marco Piccolino and Marco Bresadola

Published in print:
2013
Published Online:
June 2014
ISBN:
9780199782161
eISBN:
9780199345182
Item type:
book
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:
10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199782161.001.0001
Subject:
Psychology, Cognitive Neuroscience, Cognitive Psychology

This book provides an accurate and detailed reconstruction of the research pathway that led the Bologna physician, Luigi Galvani, to discover the electric nature of nerve conduction and muscle ... More


The Controversy Between Galvani and Volta Over Animal Electricity: The First Stage

Marco Piccolino, Marco Bresadola, and Nicholas Wade

in Shocking Frogs: Galvani, Volta, and the Electric Origins of Neuroscience

Published in print:
2013
Published Online:
June 2014
ISBN:
9780199782161
eISBN:
9780199345182
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:
10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199782161.003.0006
Subject:
Psychology, Cognitive Neuroscience, Cognitive Psychology

The publication of Galvani’s memoir in 1791started a lively debate all over Europe and in the last decade of the eighteenth century animal electricity became the most important scientific topic being ... More


A “Fortunate” Discovery: Galvani’s Theory of Animal Electricity

Marco Piccolino, Marco Bresadola, and Nicholas Wade

in Shocking Frogs: Galvani, Volta, and the Electric Origins of Neuroscience

Published in print:
2013
Published Online:
June 2014
ISBN:
9780199782161
eISBN:
9780199345182
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:
10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199782161.003.0005
Subject:
Psychology, Cognitive Neuroscience, Cognitive Psychology

This chapter reconstructs the final stage of Galvani’s electrophysiological investigation, which led him to the publication of his theory of animal electricity. The final model of the muscle as an ... More


The Spark

Alan J. McComas

in Galvani’s Spark: The Story of the Nerve Impulse

Published in print:
2011
Published Online:
September 2011
ISBN:
9780199751754
eISBN:
9780199897094
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:
10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199751754.003.0002
Subject:
Neuroscience, History of Neuroscience, Sensory and Motor Systems

Using early microscopes, Leewenhoek and Fontana describe nerve fibres. Galvani discovers that electricity causes frog muscles to twitch, though the existence of “animal” electricity is doubted by ... More


Edward Bancroft’s Guiana Eels and London Connections

Stanley Finger and Marco Piccolino

in The Shocking History of Electric Fishes: From Ancient Epochs to the Birth of Modern Neurophysiology

Published in print:
2011
Published Online:
September 2011
ISBN:
9780195366723
eISBN:
9780199897087
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:
10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195366723.003.0014
Subject:
Neuroscience, History of Neuroscience

This chapter centers on what Edward Bancroft, a New Englander who became close to Franklin and who was elected a member of the Royal Society with his help, wrote about the South American eels. During ... More


Galvani, Volta, and the Forgotten Electrophysiology

Marco Piccolino, Marco Bresadola, and Nicholas Wade

in Shocking Frogs: Galvani, Volta, and the Electric Origins of Neuroscience

Published in print:
2013
Published Online:
June 2014
ISBN:
9780199782161
eISBN:
9780199345182
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:
10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199782161.003.0001
Subject:
Psychology, Cognitive Neuroscience, Cognitive Psychology

According a tradition started already at the end of the eighteenth century, the importance of Luigi Galvani's research was just because it stimulated the investigation path leading Alessandro Volta ... More


John Walsh’s Scientific Journey

Stanley Finger and Marco Piccolino

in The Shocking History of Electric Fishes: From Ancient Epochs to the Birth of Modern Neurophysiology

Published in print:
2011
Published Online:
September 2011
ISBN:
9780195366723
eISBN:
9780199897087
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:
10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195366723.003.0015
Subject:
Neuroscience, History of Neuroscience

Colonel John Walsh more than anyone else would make electric fish electrical. He was elected into the Royal Society in 1770, being “a Gentleman well acquainted with philosophical & polite literature, ... More


Carl Friedrich Kielmeyer and “an Entirely New Epoch of Natural History”

John H. Zammito

in The Gestation of German Biology: Philosophy and Physiology from Stahl to Schelling

Published in print:
2017
Published Online:
May 2018
ISBN:
9780226520797
eISBN:
9780226520827
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:
10.7208/chicago/9780226520827.003.0010
Subject:
History, History of Science, Technology, and Medicine

German life science developed in the last decades of the eighteenth century via a research program pursuing “life forces” [Lebenskräfte]. It drew on Haller’s irritability and sensibility and on ... More


Good Vibrations: Frankenstein on the London Stage

Sarah Hibberd

in Sound Knowledge: Music and Science in London, 1789-1851

Published in print:
2017
Published Online:
September 2017
ISBN:
9780226402079
eISBN:
9780226402109
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:
10.7208/chicago/9780226402109.003.0008
Subject:
Music, History, American

Hibberd considers two stage adaptations of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein appearing in London in 1823: Richard Brinsley Peake’s Presumption; or, The Fate of Frankenstein, which played at the English ... More


Electric and Ideal Organs: Schelling and the Program of Organology

Leif Weatherby

in Transplanting the Metaphysical Organ

Published in print:
2016
Published Online:
September 2016
ISBN:
9780823269402
eISBN:
9780823269457
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Fordham University Press
DOI:
10.5422/fordham/9780823269402.003.0006
Subject:
Philosophy, Metaphysics/Epistemology

Schelling’s philosophy moved from a physiological organ for knowledge of the absolute—based on studies of animal electricity by Luigi Galvani, Alexander von Humboldt, and Johann Wilhelm Ritter—to a ... More


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