History of Physiology

Physiology originated in ancient times to the needs of medicine, for the prevention of diseases and treatment of people needed to know the structure and function of the body. Therefore, the anatomy and physiology of the studied doctors of ancient Greece and Rome. Physiological knowledge of ancient scientists were based largely on guesswork, vivisection performed very rarely and therefore many conclusions about the functions of the body are inaccurate or misleading.

A few physiological facts obtained by the scientists of the ancient world, deliberately hushed up until XIV-XV centuries. In feudal times, and idealistic speculative assumptions about the existence of ancient soul independent of the body, they were canonized for all religious beliefs and to establish itself as an indisputable truth. In the Middle Ages religious dogmas implanted forcibly and brutally eradicated scientific knowledge. The Catholic Church is forbidden to open the corpses, without which it is impossible t-person knowledge of the structure of the body. In the Middle Ages, religion has led to stagnation of experimental science, and caused great harm to its development.

The revival of the anatomy and physiology began with the collapse of the feudal society. A. Vesalius (1514-1564) was not only the founder of modern human anatomy, but also carried out vivisection on dogs that have established important facts. M. Servet (1509 or 1511-1553) studied in detail the pulmonary circulation, changes in the blood in the lungs and suggested the existence of these capillaries. For his daring scientific views against religion, M. Servetus was burned churchmen.
The anatomist Fabricius (1537-1619) discovered the valves in the veins.

English physician William Harvey (1578-1657) opened a large circulation in acute experiments on animals and on humans by observing. He based his conclusions on the results of vivisection of animals, so it is a physiological scientific study and is considered the beginning of modern experimental physiology.

In the first half XVII. naturalist and philosopher Rene Descartes (1596-1650), spending on animal vivisection and surveillance in humans, examines the role of the heart and digestion. His main discovery in physiology – unconditioned reflex scheme based on the study of any act of blinking when touching the cornea.

Descartes’ idea of ​​the reflex has been further developed and the works of the Czech scientist I. Prochazka (1749-1820).
An important contribution to the physiology introduced Italian physiologist and physicist Luigi Galvani (1737-1798) – one of the founders of the theory of electricity. He opened the appearance of an electric current, and the nerves and muscles of the frog while touching them with two dissimilar metals (iron and copper), causing muscle contraction and then proved the existence of electricity in the nerves. Italian physicist and physiologist A. Volta (1745-1827) explained that while touching nerves and muscles with the two dissimilar metals of an external electric current, and not your own electricity. He showed that an electric current excites the senses, nerves and muscles. Thus, Galvani and Volta became the founders of electrophysiology, further developed in the writings of the German physiologist, Du Bois-Reymond (1818-1896) and others.
Of great importance for physiology had biochemical studies of digestive enzymes and the role of enzymes in protein synthesis conducted Danilevskiy (1838-1923).

The progress of physiology in the XIX century. It was based on advances in physics and chemistry applied to the study of functions of the organism and its chemical composition and is combined with vivisection. This trend has been a great development.

Charles Bell (1774-1842) and F. Magendie (1783-1855) proved that the afferent (sensory) and centrifugal nerve fibers exist separately. C. Bell found the sensitivity of muscles and asserted the existence of nervous reflex ring between the brain and skeletal muscle.

F. Magendie demonstrated influence of the nervous system in the regulation of metabolism in tissues and organs – trophic function of the nervous system. Apprentice Magendie Claude Bernard (1813-1878) made many important physiological discovery: it shows the value of digestive saliva and pancreatic juice, discovered carbohydrate synthesis in the liver and its role in maintaining blood sugar levels, the role of the nervous system in carbohydrate metabolism and the regulation of the lumen of blood vessels open function of many nerves, studied blood pressure, blood gases, electric currents of nerves and muscles, and many other issues.

C. Bernard believed that most of the important functions of the body is regulated by the nervous system.
A significant contribution to the physiology made in the last century as J. Müller (1801-1858) and his school. He is the author of numerous studies of anatomy, comparative anatomy, histology, embryology, the physiology of the senses, and reflexes of the vocal apparatus. His student Helmholtz (1821-1894) made important discoveries in physics, physiology of vision and hearing, nervous and muscular systems.

For the development of modern physiology are important studies on the nature of the nerve process (A. Hodgkin, A. Huxley, and others.), Of the laws governing the functioning of the nervous system (Charles Sherrington, R. Magnus, D. Eccles et al.) And sensory organs ( R. Granit) of active substances involved in the transmission of nerve process (G. Dale, D. Nakhmanson M. Bakke et al.), the functions of the brain stem (Magoun G., G. Moruzzi et al.), the brain (Yu Konorsky), cardiovascular system (W. Starling Uiggers K., C. Heymans et al.), on the digestion (IM Bayliss, A. Ivey et al.), activity nochek (A. Keshni, A . Richards et al.).