[Skip to Navigation]
March 1944


Author Affiliations


From the William G. Kerckhoff Laboratories of the Biological Sciences, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, Calif., and Patton State Hospital, Patton, Calif. This investigation was carried out with the support of the Department of Institutions of the State of California.

Arch NeurPsych. 1944;51(3):232-242. doi:10.1001/archneurpsyc.1944.02290270021003

In the beginning of this century Leduc1 produced a narcosis-like state in rabbits and in dogs by applying a unidirectional pulse current to the central nervous system. The cathode was placed on the head and the anode on the sacrum. "Electronarcosis" was started by application of a relatively high current, which caused strong contractions of the body musculature. The animal fell on its side; respiration stopped, and the bladder, and sometimes the rectum, were emptied. After a few seconds the current was decreased to a level at which respiration returned. The animal remained motionless as long as the current was maintained (1 to 4 milliamperes, as measured with a ballistic galvanometer) and could not be aroused even by strong stimuli. Electronarcosis could be maintained for an indefinite time. As soon as the current was interrupted, the animal awoke, without any apparent ill effects.

Leduc's observations have been confirmed by

Add or change institution