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Neurophysiology is the study of nerve cells (neurones) as they receive and transmit information. It is a branch of
physiology Physiology (; ) is the scientific Science () is a systematic enterprise that builds and organizes knowledge Knowledge is a familiarity or awareness, of someone or something, such as facts A fact is an occurrence in the real world. ...
and
neuroscience Neuroscience is the of the . It is a science that combines , , , , , and to understand the fundamental and emergent properties of s, and s. The understanding of the biological basis of , , , , and has been described by as the "epic chal ...

neuroscience
that focuses on the functioning of the
nervous system In biology, the classical doctrine of the nervous system determines that it is a Complex system, highly complex part of an animal that coordinates its Behavior, actions and Sense, sensory information by transmitting action potential, signals ...

nervous system
. The word originates from the
Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approximately 10.7 million as of ...
word meaning "nerve" and
physiology Physiology (; ) is the scientific Science () is a systematic enterprise that builds and organizes knowledge Knowledge is a familiarity or awareness, of someone or something, such as facts A fact is an occurrence in the real world. ...
meaning knowledge about the function of
living systems Living systems are open Open or OPEN may refer to: citizen * Open (band), Australian pop/rock band * The Open (band), English indie rock band * ''Open'' (Blues Image album), 1969 * ''Open'' (Gotthard album), 1999 * ''Open'' (Cowboy Junkies ...
(φύσις meaning "nature" and -λογία meaning "knowledge"). Studies of neurophysiology emerged as early as 4000 BCE. During this time period, the focus was to better understand the nervous system through the brain and spinal cord and the connection it has with mental health. Currently methods used to utilise the research of neurophysiology include
electrophysiological Electrophysiology (from Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approximately 10. ...
recordings, such as
patch clamp The patch clamp technique is a laboratory technique in electrophysiology used to study ionic currents in individual isolated living cells, tissue sections, or patches of cell membrane. The technique is especially useful in the study of excitabl ...

patch clamp
,
voltage clamp The voltage clamp is an experimental method used by electrophysiologists to measure the ion currents Currents or The Current may refer to: Science and technology * Current (fluid), the flow of a liquid or a gas ** Air current, a flow of air * ...

voltage clamp
,
extracellular This glossary of biology terms is a list of definitions of fundamental terms and concepts used in biology Biology is the natural science that studies life and living organisms, including their anatomy, physical structure, Biochemistry, chem ...
single-unit recording In neuroscience, single-unit recordings provide a method of measuring the electro-physiological responses of a single neuron using a microelectrode system. When a neuron generates an action potential In physiology, an action potential (AP) ...
and recording of
local field potential Local field potentials (LFP) are transient electrical signals generated in nervous and other tissues by the summed and synchronous electrical activity of the individual cells (e.g. neurons) in that tissue. LFP are "extracellular" signals, meaning th ...
s.


History

Neurophysiology has been a subject of study since as early as 4,000 B.C. In the early B.C. years, most studies were of different natural sedatives like alcohol and poppy plants. In 1700 B.C., the Edwin Smith surgical
papyrus Papyrus ( ) is a material similar to thick paper that was used in ancient times as a writing surface. It was made from the pith of the papyrus plant, ''Cyperus papyrus'', a wetland sedge. ''Papyrus'' (plural: ''papyri'') can also refer to a do ...

papyrus
was written. This papyrus was crucial in understanding how the
ancient Egyptians Ancient Egypt was a civilization  A civilization (or civilisation) is a complex society A complex society is a concept that is shared by a range of disciplines including anthropology, archaeology, history and sociology to descri ...
understood the
nervous system In biology, the classical doctrine of the nervous system determines that it is a Complex system, highly complex part of an animal that coordinates its Behavior, actions and Sense, sensory information by transmitting action potential, signals ...

nervous system
. This papyrus looked at different case studies about injuries to different parts of the body, most notably the
head Head Sport GmbH is an American-Austrian manufacturing company Manufacturing is the creation or production Production may be: Economics and business * Production (economics) * Production, the act of manufacturing goods * Production, in th ...

head
. Beginning around 460 B.C.,
Hippocrates Hippocrates of Kos (; grc-gre, Ἱπποκράτης ὁ Κῷος, Hippokrátēs ho Kôios; ), also known as Hippocrates II, was a Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ε ...

Hippocrates
began to study
epilepsy Epilepsy is a group of non-communicable neurological disorder A neurological disorder is any disorder of the nervous system In Biology, biology, the nervous system is a Complex system, highly complex part of an animal that coordinates i ...

epilepsy
, and theorized that it had its origins in the brain. Hippocrates also theorized that the brain was involved in sensation, and that it was where intelligence was derived from. Hippocrates, as well as most
ancient Greeks Ancient Greece ( el, Ἑλλάς, Hellás) was a civilization belonging to a period of History of Greece, Greek history from the Greek Dark Ages of the 12th–9th centuries BC to the end of Classical Antiquity, antiquity ( AD 600). This era was ...
, believed that relaxation and a stress free environment was crucial in helping treat
neurological disorders A neurological disorder is any Disorder (medicine)#Disorder, disorder of the nervous system. Structural, biochemical or electrical abnormalities in the brain, spinal cord or other nerves can result in a range of symptoms. Examples of symptoms inclu ...
. In 280 B.C.,
Erasistratus Erasistratus (; grc-gre, Ἐρασίστρατος; c. 304 – c. 250 BC) was a Greek anatomist and royal physician under Seleucus I Nicator Seleucus I Nicator (; ; grc-gre, Σέλευκος Νικάτωρ, Séleukos Nikátōr, Seleucus the Vi ...
of
Chios Chios (; el, Χίος, Khíos ) is the fifth largest of the Greece, Greek list of islands of Greece, islands, situated in the northern Aegean Sea. The island is separated from Turkey by the Chios Strait. Chios is notable for its exports of Mast ...

Chios
theorized that there were divisions in the vestibular processing the brain, as well as deducing from observation that sensation was located there. In 177
Galen Aelius Galenus or Claudius Galenus ( el, Κλαύδιος Γαληνός; September 129 – c. AD 216), often Anglicized Linguistic anglicisation (or anglicization, occasionally anglification, anglifying, or Englishing) is the practice of modi ...
theorized that human thought occurred in the brain, as opposed to the heart as
Aristotle Aristotle (; grc-gre, Ἀριστοτέλης ''Aristotélēs'', ; 384–322 BC) was a Greek philosopher A philosopher is someone who practices philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questio ...

Aristotle
had theorized. The
optic chiasm The optic chiasm, or optic chiasma (; Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. It ...
, which is crucial to the visual system, was discovered around 100 C.E. by Marinus. Circa 1000,
Al-Zahrawi Abū al-Qāsim Khalaf ibn al-'Abbās al-Zahrāwī al-Ansari ( ar, أبو القاسم خلف بن العباس الزهراوي;‎ 936–1013), popularly known as Al-Zahrawi (), Latinisation of names, Latinised as Abulcasis (from Arabic ''Abū ...
, living in
Iberia The Iberian Peninsula , ** * Aragonese language, Aragonese and Occitan language, Occitan: ''Peninsula Iberica'' ** ** * french: Péninsule Ibérique * mwl, Península Eibérica * eu, Iberiar penintsula also known as Iberia, is a penin ...

Iberia
, began to write about different surgical treatments for neurological disorders. In 1216, the first
anatomy Anatomy (Greek ''anatomē'', 'dissection') is the branch of biology concerned with the study of the structure of organisms and their parts. Anatomy is a branch of natural science which deals with the structural organization of living things. It ...

anatomy
textbook in Europe, which included a description of the brain, was written by
Mondino de Luzzi Mondino de Luzzi, or de Liuzzi or de Lucci,The family name is spelled variously: Liucci, Lucci, Luzzi or Luzzo (Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Lat ...
. In 1402, St Mary of Bethlehem Hospital (later known as
Bedlam Bedlam, a word for an environment of insanity, is a term that may refer to: Places * Bedlam, North Yorkshire, a village in England * Bedlam, Shropshire, a small hamlet in England * Bedlam Theatre, a student-run theatre in Edinburgh * Bethlem Roy ...
in Britain) was the first hospital used exclusively for the mentally ill. In 1504,
Leonardo da Vinci Leonardo di ser Piero da Vinci (15 April 14522 May 1519) was an Italian of the who was active as a painter, , engineer, scientist, theorist, sculptor and architect. While his fame initially rested on his achievements as a painter, he als ...

Leonardo da Vinci
continued his study of the human body with a wax cast of the human ventricle system. In 1536, Nicolo Massa described the effects of different diseases, such as
syphilis Syphilis is a sexually transmitted infection Sexually transmitted infections (STIs), also referred to as sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) and the older term venereal disease, are infection An infection is the invasion of an orga ...
on the nervous system. He also noticed that the ventricular cavities were filled with
cerebrospinal fluid Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) is a clear, colorless body fluid Body fluids, bodily fluids, or biofluids are liquid A liquid is a nearly incompressible In fluid mechanics or more generally continuum mechanics, incompressible flow (isochor ...
. In 1542, the term physiology was used for the first time by a French physician named
Jean Fernel Jean François Fernel (Latinized Latinisation or Latinization can refer to: * Latinisation of names, the practice of rendering a non-Latin name in a Latin style * Latinisation in the Soviet Union, the campaign in the USSR during the 1920s and 193 ...

Jean Fernel
, to explain bodily function in relation to the brain. In 1543,
Andreas Vesalius Andreas Vesalius (; 31 December 1514 – 15 October 1564) was a 16th-century Flemish people, Flemish anatomist, physician, and author of one of the most influential books on human anatomy, ''De humani corporis fabrica, De Humani Corporis Fabrica ...

Andreas Vesalius
wrote ''
De humani corporis fabrica upThe ''Fabrica'' is known for its highly detailed illustrations of human dissections, often in allegorical poses.">allegorical.html" ;"title="dissections, often in allegorical">dissections, often in allegorical poses. ''De humani corporis fabr ...

De humani corporis fabrica
'', which revolutionized the study of anatomy. In this book, he described the pineal gland and what he believed the function was, and was able to draw the corpus striatum which is made up of the basal ganglia and the internal capsule. In 1549, Jason Pratensis published '' De Cerebri Morbis''. This book was devoted to neurological diseases, and discussed symptoms, as well as ideas from Galen and other Greek, Roman and Arabic authors. It also looked into the anatomy and specific functions of different areas. In 1550,
Andreas Vesalius Andreas Vesalius (; 31 December 1514 – 15 October 1564) was a 16th-century Flemish people, Flemish anatomist, physician, and author of one of the most influential books on human anatomy, ''De humani corporis fabrica, De Humani Corporis Fabrica ...

Andreas Vesalius
worked on a case of
hydrocephalus :''This article concerns the medical condition. For the hydrocephalus creature in American folklore that bares this condition as a part of its legend, see melon heads.'' Hydrocephalus is a condition in which an accumulation of cerebrospinal flu ...

hydrocephalus
, or fluid filling the brain. In the same year,
Bartolomeo Eustachi ''Tabulae anatomicae'' (Rome, 1783): Title page Bartolomeo Eustachi (c. 1500–1510 – 27 August 1574), also known by his Latin name of Bartholomaeus Eustachius (), was an Italian anatomist and one of the founders of the science of human anatomy ...
studied the
optic nerve The optic nerve, also known as cranial nerve II, or simply as CN II, is a paired cranial nerve that transmits visual system, visual information from the retina to the brain. In humans, the optic nerve is derived from optic stalks during the se ...

optic nerve
, mainly focusing on its origin in the brain. In 1564, Giulio Cesare Aranzio discovered the
hippocampus The hippocampus (via Latin from Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its popul ...

hippocampus
, naming it such due to its shape resemblance to a
sea horse A seahorse (also written ''sea-horse'' and ''sea horse'') is any of 46 species of small marine fish in the genus ''Hippocampus''. "Hippocampus" comes from the Ancient Greek ''hippokampos'' ( ''hippókampos''), itself from ''hippos'' ( ''híppos ...

sea horse
. In 1621, Robert Burton published ''
The Anatomy of Melancholy ''The Anatomy of Melancholy'' (full title: ''The Anatomy of Melancholy, What it is: With all the Kinds, Causes, Symptomes, Prognostickes, and Several Cures of it. In Three Maine Partitions with their several Sections, Members, and Subsections. Phil ...
'', which looked at the loss of important characters in one's life as leading to depression. In 1649,
René Descartes René Descartes ( or ; ; Latinisation of names, Latinized: Renatus Cartesius; 31 March 1596 – 11 February 1650) was a French-born philosopher, Mathematics, mathematician, and scientist who spent a large portion of his working life in the Du ...

René Descartes
studied the
pineal gland The pineal gland, conarium, or epiphysis cerebri, is a small endocrine gland Endocrine glands are ductless glands of the endocrine system The endocrine system is a messenger system comprising feedback loops of the hormones released by inte ...

pineal gland
. He mistakenly believed that it was the "soul" of the brain, and believed it was where thoughts formed. In 1658,
Johann Jakob Wepfer Johann Jakob Wepfer (December 23, 1620 – January 26, 1695) was a Swiss pathologist and pharmacologist who was a native of Schaffhausen Schaffhausen (; gsw, Schafuuse; french: Schaffhouse; it, Sciaffusa; rm, Schaffusa; en, Shaffhouse) ...
studied a patient in which he believed that a broken
blood vessel The blood vessels are the components of the circulatory system The circulatory system, also called the cardiovascular system or the vascular system, is an organ system An organ system is a biological system A biological system is a comp ...
had caused
apoplexy Apoplexy () is hemorrhage, bleeding within internal organ (anatomy), organs and the accompanying symptoms. For example, ovarian apoplexy is bleeding in the ovaries. The term formerly referred to what is now called a stroke. Nowadays, health care p ...
, or a
stroke A stroke is a medical condition A disease is a particular abnormal condition that negatively affects the structure or function (biology), function of all or part of an organism, and that is not due to any immediate external injury. Di ...

stroke
. In 1749, David Hartley published '' Observations on Man'', which focused on frame (neurology), duty (
moral psychology Moral psychology is a field of study in both philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about existence Existence is the ability of an entity to interact with physical reality Realit ...
) and expectations (
spirituality The meaning of spirituality has developed and expanded over time, and various connotations can be found alongside each other. Traditionally, spirituality referred to a Religion, religious process of re-formation which "aims to recover the origin ...

spirituality
) and how these integrated within one another. This text was also the first to use the English term
psychology Psychology is the scientific Science () is a systematic enterprise that builds and organizes knowledge Knowledge is a familiarity or awareness, of someone or something, such as facts A fact is an occurrence in the real world. ...

psychology
. In 1752, the
Society of Friends Quakers are people who belong to a historically Protestant Christian Protestantism is a form of that originated with the 16th-century , a movement against what its followers perceived to be in the . Protestants originating in the Ref ...
created an asylum in
Philadelphia Philadelphia (colloquially known simply as Philly) is the largest city in the Commonwealth A commonwealth is a traditional English term for a political community founded for the common good In philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is ...

Philadelphia
, Pennsylvania. The asylum intended to give not only medical treatment to those mentally ill, but also provide with caretakers and comfortable living conditions. In 1755,
Jean-Baptiste Le Roy Jean-Baptiste Le Roy (15 August 1720, Paris – 20 January 1800, Paris) was an 18th-century French physicist and one of the major contributors to the ''Encyclopédie'' by Denis Diderot, Diderot and Jean le Rond d’Alembert, d’Alembert for techno ...
began using
electroconvulsive therapy Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT), formerly known as electroshock therapy, is a psychiatry, psychiatric treatment where seizures in the brain (without muscular convulsions) are electrically induced in patients to provide relief from mental disorder ...
for the mentally ill, a treatment still used today in specific cases. In 1760, Arne-Charles studied how different lesions in the
cerebellum The cerebellum (Latin for "little brain") is a major feature of the hindbrain The hindbrain or rhombencephalon is a developmental categorization of portions of the central nervous system in vertebrates. It includes the medulla, pons, and ce ...

cerebellum
could affect motor movements. In 1776, studied the cerebellum intensely, and published a book solely based on its function and appearance. In 1784,
Félix Vicq-d'Azyr Félix Vicq d'Azyr (; 23 April 1748 – 20 June 1794) was a French physician and anatomist, the originator of comparative anatomy and discoverer of the theory of homology (biology), homology in biology. Biography Vicq d'Azyr was born in Valognes, ...
, discovered a black colored structure in the
midbrain The midbrain or mesencephalon is the forward-most portion of the brainstem The brainstem (or brain stem) is the posterior stalk-like part of the brain that connects the cerebrum with the spinal cord. In the human brain the brainstem is compose ...

midbrain
. In 1791
Samuel Thomas von Sömmerring
Samuel Thomas von Sömmerring
alluded to this structure, calling it the
substantia nigra The substantia nigra (SN) is a basal ganglia structure located in the midbrain that plays an important role in reward system, reward and Motor system, movement. ''Substantia nigra'' is Latin for "black substance", reflecting the fact that parts o ...

substantia nigra
.Swanson, LW. Neuroanatomical terminology : a lexicon of classical origins and historical foundations. Oxford University Press, 2014. England In the same year,
Luigi Galvani Luigi Galvani (, also ; ; la, Aloysius Galvanus; 9 September 1737 – 4 December 1798) was an Italian physician, physicist, biologist and philosopher, who discovered animal electricity. He is recognized as the pioneer of bioelectromagnetics. In ...
described the role of electricity in nerves of dissected frogs. In 1808,
Franz Joseph Gall Franz Josef Gall (; 9 March 175822 August 1828) was a German neuroanatomist, physiologist, and pioneer in the study of the localization of mental functions in the brain A brain is an organ (anatomy), organ that serves as the center of the nerv ...

Franz Joseph Gall
studied and published work on
phrenology Phrenology () is a pseudoscience which involves the measurement of bumps on the skull to predict mental traits.Wihe, J. V. (2002). "Science and Pseudoscience: A Primer in Critical Thinking." In ''Encyclopedia of Pseudoscience'', pp. 195-203. Cal ...

phrenology
. Phrenology was the faulty science of looking at head shape to determine different aspects of personality and brain function. In 1811, Julien Jean César Legallois studied respiration in animal dissection and lesions and found the center of respiration in the
medulla oblongata The medulla oblongata or simply medulla is a long stem-like structure which makes up the lower part of the brainstem. It is anterior and partially inferior to the cerebellum. It is a cone-shaped neuronal mass responsible for autonomic nervous sy ...

medulla oblongata
. In the same year,
Charles Bell Sir Charles Bell (12 November 177428 April 1842) was a Scottish Scottish usually refers to something of, from, or related to Scotland, including: *Scottish Gaelic, a Celtic Goidelic language of the Indo-European language family native to Scotla ...
finished work on what would later become known as the Bell-Magendie law, which compared functional differences between dorsal and ventral roots of the
spinal cord The spinal cord is a long, thin, tubular structure made up of nervous tissue, which extends from the medulla oblongata in the brainstem to the lumbar region of the vertebral column. It encloses the central canal of the spinal cord, which contain ...

spinal cord
. In 1822,
Karl Friedrich Burdach Karl Friedrich Burdach (12 June 1776 – 16 July 1847) was a German physiologist. He was born in Leipzig and died in Königsberg. He was the first to use the word "biology" and was a pioneer of neuroanatomy. Life Burdach came from a family o ...

Karl Friedrich Burdach
distinguished between the lateral and medial geniculate bodies, as well as named the
cingulate gyrus 250px, Coronal section of brain. Cingulate cortex is shown in yellow. The cingulate cortex is a part of the brain A brain is an organ (anatomy), organ that serves as the center of the nervous system in all vertebrate and most invertebrate an ...
. In 1824,
F. Magendie
F. Magendie
studied and produced the first evidence of the cerebellum's role in equilibration to complete the Bell-Magendie law. In 1838,
Theodor Schwann Theodor Schwann (; 7 December 181011 January 1882) was a German German(s) may refer to: Common uses * of or related to Germany * Germans, Germanic ethnic group, citizens of Germany or people of German ancestry * For citizens of Germany, see ...
began studying white and grey matter in the brain, and discovered the
myelin sheath Myelin is a lipid In biology Biology is the natural science that studies life and living organisms, including their anatomy, physical structure, Biochemistry, chemical processes, Molecular biology, molecular interactions, Physiology, phys ...
. These cells, which cover the axons of the neurons in the brain, are named Schwann cells after him. In 1848,
Phineas Gage Phineas P. Gage (18231860) was an American railroad construction foreman remembered for his improbable survival of an accident in which a large iron rod was driven completely through his head, destroying much of his brain's left frontal lobe ...

Phineas Gage
, the classical neurophysiology patient, had his brain pierced by an iron tamping rod in a blasting accident. He became an excellent case study in the connection between the prefrontal cortex and behavior, decision making and consequences. In 1849,
Hermann von Helmholtz Hermann Ludwig Ferdinand von Helmholtz (31 August 1821 – 8 September 1894) was a German physicist A physicist is a scientist A scientist is a person who conducts Scientific method, scientific research to advance knowledge in an Branch ...

Hermann von Helmholtz
studied the speed of
frog A frog is any member of a diverse and largely carnivorous A carnivore , meaning "meat Meat is animal flesh that is eaten as food. Humans have hunted and killed animals for meat since prehistoric times. The advent of civilization all ...

frog
nerve impulses while studying
electricity Electricity is the set of physical Physical may refer to: *Physical examination, a regular overall check-up with a doctor *Physical (album), ''Physical'' (album), a 1981 album by Olivia Newton-John **Physical (Olivia Newton-John song), "Physi ...

electricity
in the body. While these are not all the developments in neurophysiology before 1849, these developments were significant to the study of the brain and body.


See also

*
Brain A brain is an organ Organ may refer to: Biology * Organ (anatomy) An organ is a group of Tissue (biology), tissues with similar functions. Plant life and animal life rely on many organs that co-exist in organ systems. A given organ's tis ...

Brain
*
Neuroscience Neuroscience is the scientific study of the nervous system In biology, the classical doctrine of the nervous system determines that it is a Complex system, highly complex part of an animal that coordinates its Behavior, actions and Sens ...

Neuroscience
*
Neural coding In biology Biology is the natural science that studies life and living organisms, including their anatomy, physical structure, Biochemistry, chemical processes, Molecular biology, molecular interactions, Physiology, physiological mecha ...
*
Neurology Neurology (from el, , "string, nerve" and the suffix , "study of") is a branch of dealing with . Neurology deals with the diagnosis and treatment of all categories of conditions and disease involving the and s (and their subdivisions, the ...


References


Sources

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * {{Authority control