Reference numberPP/13/1
Previous numbersPP/45/1
TitlePaper, 'Observations upon the electromotive changes in the mammalian spinal cord following electrical excitation of the cortex cerebri. Preliminary notice' by Francis Gotch and Victor Horsley
DescriptionThe authors write: 'Hitherto pathologists have attempted the analysis of the epileptic convulsion by the graphic method, that is, by recording the spasmodic contractions of the muscles involved. Recent investigations of this kind have shown that the excitation of the cortex cerebri, whether by electrical or chemical means, or by the presence of certain pathological states, neoplasms, inflammation, &c., is invariably followed in the higher mammals by a definite and characteristic sequence of movements in the muscles. It is, however, obvious that such investigations have up to the present succeeded in determining the characters of the neural disturbance only when this has reached the peripheral terminations of the efferent nerves. Now since the excitatory processes originating in the cortex are conducted by the efferent channels in the spinal cord, presumably the pyramidal tracts, the problem of their relationship to the centres of the bulbo-spinal system cannot be determined by experiments which record the mechanical changes in the muscles.'

Annotations in pencil and ink. Includes one page of photographs 'obtained by projecting the image of the capillary electrometer upon a narrow slit behind which an extra rapid photographic plate travelled'.

Subject: Physiology / Neuroscience

Received 27 August 1888 / 29 September 1888. Read 15 November 1888.

A version of this paper was published in volume 45 of the Proceedings of the Royal Society as 'Observations upon the electromotive changes in the mammalian spinal cord following electrical excitation of the cortex cerebri. Preliminary notice'.
Physical descriptionInk and graphite pencil on paper
Digital imagesView item on Science in the Making
Access statusOpen
Related materialDOI: 10.1098/rspl.1888.0069
Fellows associated with this archive
NA6838Horsley; Sir; Victor Alexander Haden (1857 - 1916)1857 - 1916
NA6228Gotch; Francis (1853 - 1913)1853 - 1913
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