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ref: Harris-2009.06 tags: Bartholow 1874 Mary experiment stimulation ICMS date: 12-29-2011 05:13 gmt revision:2 [1] [0] [head]

PMID-19286295[0] Probing the human brain with stimulating electrodes: The story of Roberts Bartholow’s (1874) experiment on Mary Rafferty

  • Excellent review / history.
  • Actual citation: Experimental investigations into the functions of the human brain" The American Journal of the medical Sciences 1874
  • Actual subject: Marry Rafferty
  • Around his time people were shifting from using intuition and observation to direct treatment to using empiricism & science, especially from work on laboratory animals.
  • One of the innovations that could not be tolerated by his colleagues was the "physiological investigations of drugs by the destruction of animal life." He was a bit of an outsider, and not terribly well liked.
  • Before then the cortex was seen to be insensitive to stimulation of any kind.
  • Ferrier 1974b: in the striatum all movements are integrated which are differentiated in the cortex" -- striatal stimulation produces general contraction, not specific contraction.
  • Ferrier 1873 was the first to discover that AC stimulation yielded more prolonged and natural movements than DC.
  • The Dura mater is extremely sensitive to pain.
  • Mary Rafferty seems to have had a tumor (he calls it an ulcer) in the meninges (epithelioma).
  • He probably spread infection into her brain through the stimulating needles.

____References____

[0] Harris LJ, Almerigi JB, Probing the human brain with stimulating electrodes: the story of Roberts Bartholow's (1874) experiment on Mary Rafferty.Brain Cogn 70:1, 92-115 (2009 Jun)