Wednesday, February 15, 2012

After Galvin

Galvin was the first of many scientists to experiment with electrophysiology. His experiments with frogs legs opened the door for other scientists to draw conclusions about physical processes of humans. Several 20th century scientists (Ken Cole, Howard Curtis, Louis Lapicque, Alan Hodgkin, and Bernard Katz) contributed ideas which coincided to prove that neural cells operated via an action potential (Li, "The History of Medical Stimulation). Basically, our neurons are charged, and electrochemical messages are transmitted to our brain when ions travel through the neural cell membranes and change the internal charge. A more recent innovation in electrophysiology is EMS (electrical muscle stimulation). The human body is known to work better under stress, so when placed under electrical stress, muscles become more efficient. This is why athletes often undergo EMS to improve their athletic performance (Li, "The History of Medical Stimulation"). It's cool how Galvin's curiosity and the experiments which resulted from such intrigue led to so many breakthroughs in the field of animal physiology.


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