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October 3, 1942

GALVANIC STIMULATION OF MUSCLE FOLLOWING PERIPHERAL NERVE SECTION

JAMA. 1942;120(5):375. doi:10.1001/jama.1942.02830400049015
Abstract

About one hundred years ago a controversy, typical of many that arose in the early nineteenth century, disturbed physiologists and anatomists. They debated actively the question of the relationship between nervous tissue, particularly the spinal and peripheral nerves, and the contractile elements of muscle. Was the property of muscular contractility inherent in the muscle itself or was it derived from the nervous system? Haller, then the greatest voice in physiology, maintained after numerous experiments that contractility remained after the nerves to a muscle had been cut through. The property of contractility, according to the hallerians, was independent of the nervous system and inherent in the muscular fiber itself. Such a bold assertion could not pass in that period without animadversion. Other learned physiologists, an influential sect called the "neurologists," maintained that contractility was a property of the nervous system itself. Although the neurologists modified their dogmatic tenets from time to

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