Bradford Cannon (October 19, 1871 – October 1, 1945) was an
American physiologist, professor and chairman of the Department of
1 Life and career 2 Work
2.1 Scientific contributions
3 Publication 4 References 5 Further reading 6 External links
Life and career
Cannon was born on October 19, 1871 in Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin,
the son of Colbert Hanschett Cannon and his wife Wilma Denio.
In his autobiography The Way of an Investigator, Cannon counts himself
among the descendents of Jacques de Noyon, a
Walter Bradford Cannon
Walter Cannon began his career in science as a Harvard undergraduate
in the year 1896. Henry Pickering Bowditch, who had worked with Claude
Bernard, directed the laboratory in physiology at Harvard. Here Cannon
began his research: he used the newly discovered
Age 26 – 40: digestion and the bismuth meal Age 40 – 46: bodily effects of emotional excitement Age 46 – 51: wound shock investigations Age 51 – 59: stable states of the organism Age 59 – 68: chemical mediation of nerve impulses (collaboration with Arturo Rosenblueth) Age 68 + : chemical sensitivity of nerve-isolated organs
Use of salts of heavy metals in X-Rays He was one of the first researchers to mix salts of heavy metals (including bismuth subnitrate, bismuth oxychloride, and barium sulfate) into foodstuffs in order to improve the contrast of X-ray images of the digestive tract. The barium meal is a modern derivative of this research.
Fight or flight In 1915, he coined the term fight or flight to describe an animal's response to threats in Bodily Changes in Pain, Hunger, Fear and Rage: An Account of Recent Researches into the Function of Emotional Excitement.
As a military physician in World War I he discovered that the blood of
shocked men was acidic.  As a member of the British Medical
He developed the concept of homeostasis from the earlier idea of
Constancy in an open system, such as our bodies represent, requires
mechanisms that act to maintain this constancy. Cannon based this
proposition on insights into the ways by which steady states such as
glucose concentrations, body temperature and acid-base balance were
Steady-state conditions require that any tendency toward change
automatically meets with factors that resist change. An increase in
blood sugar results in thirst as the body attempts to dilute the
concentration of sugar in the extracellular fluid.
The regulating system that determines the homeostatic state consists
of a number of cooperating mechanisms acting simultaneously or
Cannon developed the
Dry mouth He put forward the Dry Mouth Hypothesis, stating that people get thirsty because their mouths get dry. He did an experiment on two dogs. He made incisions in their throats and inserted small tubes. Any water swallowed would go through their mouths and out by the tubes, never reaching their stomachs. He found out that these dogs would lap up the same amount of water as control dogs.
Publication Cannon wrote several books and articles.
1910, A Laboratory Course in Physiology,
^ Dale, H. H. (1947). "Walter Bradford Cannon. 1871-1945". Obituary
Notices of Fellows of the Royal Society. 5 (15): 407–426.
^ Haggbloom, Steven J.; Warnick, Jason E.; Jones, Vinessa K.;
Yarbrough, Gary L.; Russell, Tenea M.; Borecky, Chris M.; McGahhey,
Reagan; et al. (2002). "The 100 most eminent psychologists of the 20th
century". Review of General Psychology. 6 (2): 139–152.
doi:10.1037/1089-26126.96.36.199. CS1 maint: Explicit use of et al.
^ Haggbloom, Steven J. "Steven J. Haggbloom - Psychology - WKU".
Western Kentucky University.
^ Way of an Investigator, pp. 16–7
^ Saul Benison, A. Clifford Barger, Elin L. Wolfe (1987) Walter B.
Cannon: the Life and Times of a Young Scientist. pp.16–32, Belknap
^ a b c "Walter Bradford Cannon". Presidents. American Physiological
Society. Retrieved 22 March 2015. 6th APS President (1914-1916)
^ Barger, A. Clifford. "William Townsend Porter" (PDF). American
Physiological Society. Retrieved 8 January 2017.
^ Fred Spicker, Moni (June 19, 2011). "
Benison, Saul A., Clifford Barger, Elin L. Wolfe (1987) Walter B. Cannon: The Life and Times of a Young Scientist. ISBN 0674945808 Cannon, Bradford. "Walter Bradford Cannon: Reflections on the Man and His Contributions". International Journal of Stress Management, vol. 1, no. 2, 1994. Kuznick, Peter. "The Birth of Scientific Activism". Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, December 1988 Schlesinger, Marian Cannon. Snatched from Oblivion: A Cambridge Memoir. Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1979. Wolfe, Elin L., A. Clifford Barger, Saul Benison (2000) Walter B. Cannon, Science and Society. ISBN 0674002512
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Walter Bradford Cannon.
Works by or about Walter
Bradford Cannon at Internet Archive
6th APS President at the American Physiological Society
Walter Bradford Cannon: Experimental Physiologist: 1871-1945 -
biography at Harvard Square Library
Chapter 9 of Explorers of the Body, by Steven Lehrer (contains
v t e
Subfields of and scientists involved in cybernetics
Polycontexturality Second-order cybernetics Catastrophe theory Connectionism Control theory Decision theory Information theory Semiotics Synergetics Biological cybernetics Biosemiotics Biomedical cybernetics Biorobotics Computational neuroscience Homeostasis Management cybernetics Medical cybernetics Neurocybernetics Sociocybernetics Emergence Artificial intelligence
Maleyka Abbaszadeh Igor Aleksander William Ross Ashby Gregory Bateson Anthony Stafford Beer Natalia Bekhtereva Claude Bernard Ludwig von Bertalanffy Valentin Braitenberg Gordon S. Brown Walter Bradford Cannon Manfred Clynes Heinz von Foerster Charles François Jay Wright Forrester Jacque Fresco Buckminster Fuller Ranulph Glanville Ernst von Glasersfeld Pyotr Grigorenko N. Katherine Hayles Francis Heylighen Erich von Holst Jason Jixuan Hu Cliff Joslyn Stuart Kauffman Sergei P. Kurdyumov Allenna Leonard Alexander Lerner Niklas Luhmann Warren McCulloch Humberto Maturana Margaret Mead Ulla Mitzdorf Talcott Parsons Gordon Pask Walter Pitts Alfred Radcliffe-Brown Robert Trappl Valentin Turchin Jakob von Uexküll Francisco Varela Frederic Vester Charles Geoffrey Vickers Stuart Umpleby John N. Warfield William Grey Walter Kevin Warwick Norbert Wiener Jennifer Wilby Anthony Wilden
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