Even ancient scientists
assumed that some "influence* is transferred via nerves - from the brain
to muscles and from the sense organs to the brain.
Italian doctor and scientist L. Galvani while conducting experiments with a frog paw, on 26 September 1786, discovered «the animal energy* and marked the beginning of electrobiology. He hypothesized that paralysis may be connected with the disturbed nerve isolation and epilepsy, with a heavy electric discharge in the brain. «...ln the future, I will apply all efforts for development of the new direction in medicine — electromedicine», wrote L. Galvani («Tractate on Force of Electricity at Muscular Movements*, 1791).
1796 — Italian physicist Alessandro Volta discovered the Volta effect and chemical sources of current. «Can it (electric fluid) be the reason of all sensations (except for the tongue) in other sense organs?*, he thought.
1784-1812 — Czech scientist I.Prokhaska introduced into physiology a notion of some nerve force which is transferred via nerve fibers at the body exposure to the "Stimulation matters* and term «reflex» for designation of the reaction of the body which appears in response to the action of this stimulus. The force of this reaction corresponds to the force of the stimuls. As distinct from R. Descartes, he believed that the reflex act may appear not only due to the effect of external stimuli but also due to the effect of internal ones.
1811-1822 — the Bell-Magendie's law was formulated (Ch. Bell, Scotland, F. Magendie, France). The authors showed that sensitive nerve (afferent) fibers are introduced into the spinal cord as part of dorsal root of spinal nerve, whereas motor nerve (efferent) fibers go out of the spinal cord as part of ventral roots of the spinal nerve.
1827 — physicist LNobili from Florence registered for the first time the potential difference across various points of the frog's body.
1843-1848 — professor Du Bois-Reymond (Berlin) discovered the current of injury in the nerve (rest potential), discovered the potential difference between the outer and inner surfaces of the frog's skin, described the threshold force of stimulation, relative and absolute refractory period.
1850 — M.Holl (Great Britain) suggested and justified the term «reflex arch* and applied this phenomenon in a clinic.
1850 — professor of physiology of Koenigsberg University G. Helmholz measured experimentally the speed of spread of stimulation via the nerve.
1853 — physiologist K. Bernard (France) discovered the role of the sympathetic nervous system in regulation of lumen of vessels. 1863 — well-known Russian scientist I.M.Sechenov in his paper "Reflexes of the Brain* developed the idea about the unity of the body and environment, strict causality of all aspects of the mental activity, continuity of physiological and psychological matters. He laid the groundwork for the evolutionary interpretation of physiological functions: "influence on organisms of the environment they live in, of conditions of their existence, to be more pre-cise» to which they should adapt and which«.. .are dynamics of the evolution, including the nervous system». I.M.Sechenov discovered phenomena of the central inhibition.
1866 — German anatomist M.Schultz discovered for the first time the exteroreceptor (photoreceptor of birds).
1875-1876 — scientists V.Ya.Danilevsky (Russia) and Keton (Great Britain) discovered independently the evoked potential of the brain.
1878 — academician K. Bernard (France) put forward a concept about maintenance of the stability of the internal environment at any fluctuations of the external environment «as a condition of free and independent life».
1879-1936 — academician I.P.Pavlov, great Russian physiologist, deals in development of the doctrine of conditioned reflexes. He believed that the higher nervous activity is based on several innate reflexes of vital importance and these reflexes represent the genetically assigned inherited experience of regulation. However, unconditioned reflexes can ensure adaptation of the body to outward things only at the absolute stability of the environment.
Based on unconditioned reflexes, during one's life conditioned reflexes may develop which represent reflexes of a higher rank. Conditioned reflexes are not predetermined by the inborn structure of nervous bonds but are formed during an individual life of a body in higher parts of the brain.
Generation of conditioned reflexes represents restructuring of relations between nerve centers due to which these relations start reflect the real interaction between factors of the environment which, in turn, creates the possibility for more perfect adaptation of the organism to this environment.
The response of the body to the external stimulus is determined by interaction of processes of stimulation and inhibition.
1882 — famous Russian physiologist N.E.Vvedensky started studying the electric activity of human muscles 1884 — S. Ramon y Cajal (Spain) was among the first to justify a doctrine about the neuron as a morphological unit of the nervous system.
1889-1893 — Russian therapeutist G.A.Zakharin and English neuropathologist G.Head described certain zones of the skin in which the reflected pain as well as pain and temperature hyperes-thesia often take place.
1902 — Physiologist J.Bernstein (Berlin) founded «the membrane theory of biopotentials» and showed that electricity is always present in the living cell.
1905 — Physiologist Ch. Sherrington (Great Britain) developed a doctrine about human receptive fields, divided receptors into exteroreceptors, interoreceptors and proprioreceptors, formulated one of the main concepts of work of the nervous system - the concept of common tract. He showed qualitative predominance of afferent conductive tracts over efferent ones, introduced the notion of the integrative activity of the nervous system, the notion about the synapse as a mechanism of the interneuron bond, considered the reflex as an elementary functional unit of the nervous activity and suggested principles of integration of the reflex at the level of the spinal cord.
1910 — J.Bernstein and L.German (Berlin) for the first time described the nerve pulse, or «the traveling potential of the activity*.
1912 — French doctor G.Yavorsky suggested the term «reflexo-therapy» which united different manipulation treatments based on stimulation of one's body's surface certain zones rich in nerve endings. This term is widely used nowadays, though it does reflect fully the essence of a number of diagnostic, therapeutical and preventive methods included in it.
1915 — American physiologist W.Kennon showed that laid in the basis of a number of emotional states are physiological processes which express themselves by reflex excitation of splanchnic nerves, intense discharge by adrenals of adrenalin into blood and by manifestation of a number of adaptive responses (increase in blood pressure and the level of sugar in blood, activation of metabolism, etc.). 1920 — English physiologist G.Dale and pharmacist O.Levy proved a hypothesis about the chemical nature of the transfer of the nerve pulse via synapses, i.e. justified the concept of synaptic transfer of information.
- — German psychiatrist G. Berger for the first time
studying the electric activity of the human brain.
- — German physiologist G.Frikke showed that the cell
membrane behaves experimentally as parallel resistance and ca
pacity, i.e. found the equivalent electric diagram of the human cell
1927 — professor W.Kennon
was among the first who introduced in physiology the notion «self-regulation»,
designed a doctrine about homeostasis as the ability of the body to maintain
the stability of the internal environment.
1930 — Russian pathologist academician A.D.Speransky put forward a concept about the nervous system as the leading chain in mechanisms of a disease, recovery and compensation of impairment of functions of the organism, discovered the common nature of nonspecific reactions of the nervous system at the effect of various pathogenic irritants and indicated the necessity of developing a theory of the medicine which would reveal major regularities of pathologic processes from the position of the leading role of the nervous system in rubbing of integral reactions of the organism.
academician P.K.Anokhin developed a universal theory about functional systems
of the body as the basis for the brain organization of a physiological act. Any
functional system represents a complex dynamic self-regulating organization of
different organs and tissues which include a number of stages: afferent synthesis,
decision making, acceptor of the result of an action, etc. Of principle
component of the system is availability of permanent back afferentation from
the results of the action to nerve centers which form this action. Due to this
afferentation, in case of mismatch between the expected and realistic result,
restructuring of the nervous act takes place. The purpose of any functional
system is creation of qualitatively outlined adjusting effect. As distinct
from the classic physiology which studies mechanisms of vital functions of
single organs and dynamics of their work, physiology of functional systems
studies the organism as a set of system organizations in their development and
1936 — Canadian pathologist professor G.Selye formulated concepts of adaptation local syndrome, general adaptation syndrome and stress which represent the nonspecific adaptive reaction of the body in response to the effect of strong injured factors and into which participation of the endocrine systems of the organism is compulsory. It was showed that qualitative or quantitative inadequacy of adaptation syndromes results in the so-called adaptation diseases.
- — academicians V.N.Chernigovsky and K.M.Bykov de
veloped a doctrine on the visceral, or interroreceptive sensor sys
tem of the body and applied the reflex and conditioned-reflex prin
ciple to regulation of the activity of internal organs.
- — British researchers A. Hodking and Huxley experimen
tally and with the use of mathematical modeling proved the deci
sive role of the nervous fiber membrane in appearance of the rest
- — British scientist P.Mitchel justified the science
ergetics. He developed a theory which explains a mechanism of
transformation of the food into the electric energy which is spent
for generation of adenosine triphosphate.
- — British scientist Lissmann proved the existence of
troreceptors. The transfer of the nerve pulse is connected with
energy processes, however, the essence of the pulse is in the trans
fer of information from the cell to the cell.
1975 — J.Somien discovered
a method of coding information in the sensor system (receptors) of a man.
1975 — Russian scientists LKh. Garkavi, M.A. Ukolovaand E.B. Kvakina established that there exist anti-stress adaptation reactions of training and activation (calm and increased). These reactions enhance non-specific resistance of the human body to any damaging factors of the internal or external environment without energy losses in functional systems of the body (Discovery No. 158, State register of the USSR for inventions and discoveries).
1980 — Russian pathophysiologist academician G.N.Kryzhanovsky defined a theory of triggering generating mechanisms of neuropathologic syndromes. Disturbance of regulatory functions of the nerve system causes disagreement in functional systems of the body. Each link of such disagreed system may trigger the new however pathologic functional system and result in changes in both correlation and levels of functioning of the dominant, determinant and anti-systems.
At the end of 70s of 20 century, in the USSR, a team of authors designed, as part of a medical program of the Center of Aerospace Flights, the new unique apparatus of controlling of the internal environment of the human body called Self-Controlled Electric Neu-roadaptive Regulator (SCENAR). This apparatus is intended for influencing acupuncture zones. Its application ensures non-inva-siveness and safety of acupressure. The interface with body controlling systems takes place using the same language of the body with the help of neuron-like (physiologic for the human body) low-frequency electric pulse with back afferentation («electric talk» is perceived by all cells, all receprtors). The apparatus was tested in subdivisions of Russian military and industrial complex. Plans existed to use it in aerospace complexes like, for example, «Buran»...
Then perestroika came...