Carlo Matteucci, Giuseppe Moruzzi and stimulation of the senses: a visual appreciation

N. J. Wade


The senses were stimulated electrically before speculations of the involvement of electricity in nerve transmission received experimental support; it provided a novel means of defining the functions of the senses. Electrical stimulation was used by Charles Bell and Johannes Müller as a source of evidence for the doctrine of specific nerve energies because it resulted in the same sensations produced by natural or mechanical stimuli. The basis for understanding nerve transmission was provided by Luigi Galvani and Alesssandro Volta and elaborated by Carlo Matteucci and Emil du Bois-Reymond, both of whom maintained an interest in the senses. A century later, Giuseppe Moruzzi demonstrated how incoming sensory signals can be modulated by the reticular system.


Matteucci • Moruzzi • Nerve impulses • Reticular system • Senses

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