From Big Medical Encyclopedia

DUBOIS RAYMOND Emil (Du Bois-Reymond Emil, 1818 — 1896) — the German physiologist and the philosopher, one of founders of an electrophysiology, the member of the Berlin academy of Sciences (1851), and from 1867 t. her constant secretary, professional. Berlin un-that (1855).


Ended philosophical f-t Berlin un-that in 1837.

Since 1838 was fond of natural sciences and began to go in for physiology. In 1840 — 1858 worked in Berlin un-those for I. Müller and at the same time taught anatomy in Academy of Arts. Since 1858 the ordinary prof. of department of physiology of university, since 1877 the director of Institute of physiology of the Berlin academy of Sciences.

In 1842 published results of the first work on studying of animal electricity and protected dokt, the thesis on a subject about knowledge ancient about electric fishes.

Main researches E. Du Bois-Reymond are devoted to studying of «animal» electricity, to-rogo it proved existence in muscles, nerves, glands, skin, a retina of an eye and other fabrics. It opened physical. electrotone and law of irritation; showed that cross-section of a nerve elektrootritsatelno in relation to its unimpaired surface («current of rest»); proved existence of demarcation potential after section of a spinal cord of a frog, the first found the negative potential of the damaged part of bark of big parencephalons. It also showed that negative fluctuation of current of rest is expression of an active condition of fabric.

It developed new methods and technique of an electrophysiologic research, especially irritations faradic current, the galvanometer is improved, not polarized electrodes, induction devices for irritation of nerves and muscles, etc. are offered.

He made one of the first attempt to explain origins of bioelectric potential and formulated the molecular theory of biopotentials (see. Biophysics ).

On philosophical views Du Bois-Reymond was a supporter of the mechanistic direction, stood on positions of agnosticism in an explanation of the reasons of the vital phenomena. It possesses a formula «ignoremus et ignorabimus» (we do not know and never we learn).

It is known also as the brilliant publicist.

Works: Untersuchungen uber tierische «Elec-tricitat», Bd 1—2, B., 1848 — 1860; Gesam-melte Abhandlungen zur allgemeinen Mus-kel-und Nervenphysik, Bd 1 — 2, Lpz., 1875 — 1877; Reden von Emil Du Bois-Re-ymond, Bd 1 — 2, Lpz., 1912.

Bibliography: Ognevy. T. Du Bois-Reymond's speeches and his scientific outlook., 1899; Chesnokovas. A. Emile Dubois Raymond, in book: Chesnokova of S. A. Carle Ludvig, 1816 — 1895, page 41, M., 1973.

E. L. Golubeva.