Before 1870, the doctrine that the cerebral cortex was inexcitable to artificial stimulation was generally held by investigators. As early as 1756, Haller1 reported a series of experiments performed six years before on dogs, cats and goats by his pupil Zinn, in which he was unable to produce muscular movements by mechanical or chemical irritation applied to the cerebral cortex. Later investigators, including Magendie,2 Longet,3 Budge4 and Matteucci,5 were also unable to produce movements by various methods of artificial stimulation, including the use of the galvanic current.
On the basis of such results reported by the leading experimentalists of their time, it is not surprising to find that investigators generally agreed that muscular movements could not be obtained on irritation of the cerebral cortex. In addition to denying the possibility of artificial excitation of this part of the central nervous system, it was almost universally
SMITH WK. MOTOR CORTEX OF THE BEAR (URSUS AMERICANUS): A PHYSIOLOGIC AND HISTOLOGIC STUDY. Arch NeurPsych. 1933;30(1):14–39. doi:10.1001/archneurpsyc.1933.02240130022002
Customize your JAMA Network experience by selecting one or more topics from the list below.