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December 1936

ACTION POTENTIALS OF THE BRAIN: IN NORMAL PERSONS AND IN NORMAL STATES OF CEREBRAL ACTIVITY

Author Affiliations

BOSTON

From the Department of Physiology, the Harvard University Medical School.

Arch NeurPsych. 1936;36(6):1214-1224. doi:10.1001/archneurpsyc.1936.02260120061004
Abstract

The human brain generates electrical potentials strong enough to be detected through the intact skull. A record of these potentials is analogous to the familiar electrocardiogram and, like the latter, furnishes a convenient external index of the activity of a hidden organ. The fact that the brain of a living animal is the seat of electrical activity was discovered by Caton1 in 1875, but, although the observation was repeatedly confirmed and considerably elaborated by other workers, it was completely ignored by most neurophysiologists until the last decade. Then, with the aid of the new and powerful electron tube amplifiers developed by radio communication engineers, the field was reopened by Fischer2 and his pupil Kornmüller in Germany, Adrian3 in England and Bartley and Newman,4 Bartley and Bishop5 and others in this country. Particular credit from the medical point of view is due to Berger,6 a

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