Carvell, PhD, PTUniversity
SPINAL CORD: Reflexes
of the earliest attempts to study the motor system was done by C. Sherrington,
neurophysiologist. Much of his work was conducted with ‘reduced’ preparations where portions of the nervous system
were isolated to simplify the system. Sherrington has had a major influence in
neurophysiology. He coined the term synapse, motor unit, final common pathway, reciprocal
inhibition and using relatively crude equipment (by today’s standards) meticulously
described many fundamnetal reflex circuits. His last student, John Eccles went on to
record intracellular potentials from spinal neurons that form the neural basis for reflexes
and other actions.
Sherrington with his last student,
John Eccles; portrait by
Stan Smith, Univ of Oxford
Sir Charles Sherrington was a pioneer in neurophysiology. His student John Eccles recorded intracellular membrane potentials in spinal cord interneurons & motoneurons to reveal synaptic events associated with facilitation and inhibition- mechanisms responsible for spatiotemporal integration in the CNS.