Luigi Galvani and animal electricity: two centuries after the foundation of electrophysiology

  title={Luigi Galvani and animal electricity: two centuries after the foundation of electrophysiology},
  author={Marco Piccolino},
  journal={Trends in Neurosciences},
  • M. Piccolino
  • Published 1 October 1997
  • Medicine, Psychology
  • Trends in Neurosciences
Luigi Galvani and his famous experiments on frogs carried out in the second half of the 18th century belong more to legend than to the history of science. Galvani not only laid the foundations of a new science, electrophysiology, but also opened the way for the invention of the electric battery, and thus for the development of the physical investigations of electricity. However, in spite of the widespread celebration of his work, Galvani's scientific endeavours have been largely misrepresented… Expand

Paper Mentions

Interventional Clinical Trial
Electrical stimulation has a wide range of clinical applications in rehabilitation, being used for activities such as strengthening, pain control, management of edema, or control of… Expand
ConditionsHamstring Contractures
InterventionDevice, Other
Luigi Galvani's path to animal electricity.
This paper attempts to trace the elusive and complex path that led Galvani to his extraordinary discovery of electricity in a condition of disequilibrium between the interior and the exterior of excitable fibres. Expand
Resuscitation great. Luigi Galvani and the foundations of electrophysiology.
Luigi Galvani became one of the greatest scientists of the 18th century with his research and the development of his theory on animal electricity but his work was subsequently abandoned and silenced for many years but his ideas and theories were finally confirmed by the creation of new instruments and the interest of new scientists who helped position him as the father of electrophysiology. Expand
Visual Images in Luigi Galvani's Path to Animal Electricity
  • M. Piccolino
  • Psychology, Medicine
  • Journal of the history of the neurosciences
  • 2008
The scientific endeavor that led Luigi Galvani to his hypothesis of “animal electricity,” i.e., of an electricity present in a condition of disequilibrium between the interior and the exterior ofExpand
A Computational View of the Historical Controversy on Animal Electricity
A scientific controversy retains often some controversial sides after its fundamentals has well been explained. This is particularly true for the controversy that arose in Italy in the second half ofExpand
Galvani, Luigi (Aloisio)
Italian physician, anatomist, and physiologist Luigi Galvani (1737–98) established the existence of what he called ‘animal electricity.’ Galvani described his experimental results initially in DeExpand
The bicentennial of the Voltaic battery (1800–2000): the artificial electric organ
During studies that led to the invention of the electric battery, Alessandro Volta obtained a series of results of great physiological relevance, which led him to anticipate some important ideas that marked the inception of modern neuroscience. Expand
History of electromyography and nerve conduction studies: A tribute to the founding fathers
The historical evolution of nerve conduction studies (NCS) and EMG over the last three centuries is reviewed by reviewing the landmark publications of Galvani, Adrian, Denny-Brown, Larrabee, and Lambert. Expand
Historical Aspects of Transcranial Electric Stimulation
Today, tDCS is recognized as being an effective technique in applying a direct current to the scalp, further demonstrating its ability to treat clinical conditions such as affective disorders, chronic pain and post-lesional cognitive disorders. Expand
Thermoelectrics: From history, a window to the future
Thermoelectricity offers a sustainable path to recover and convert waste heat into readily available electric energy, and has been studied for more than two centuries. From the controversy betweenExpand
From Romanticism and fiction to reality: Dippel, Galvani, Aldini and “the Modern Prometheus”. Brief history of nervous impulse
Shelley’s creative world, full of gothic and romantic hues, shows direct influence of alchemy speaking of the “spark of life” as well as works published by Galvani and Aldini. Expand


Measurement of current‐voltage relations in the membrane of the giant axon of Loligo
The importance of ionic movements in excitable tissues has been emphasized by a number of recent experiments which are consistent with the theory that nervous conduction depends on a specific increase in permeability which allows sodium ions to move from the more concentrated solution outside a nerve fibre to the more dilute solution inside it. Expand
Light response of vertebrate photoreceptors.
Article de synthese sur les reponses des photorecepteurs a la lumiere chez les vertebres: couplage electrique entre photorecepteurs; modulation de la reponse par la conductance ionique du segmentExpand