Neue Versuche am Hirn und Rückenmark des Frosches.Setschenow, Iwan Michailowitsch and Viktor Vasilevich Paschutin
Berlin: Verlag von August Hirschwald. 1865.
First edition. 8vo (212x133mm). pp. [iv], 96. Marbled paper over boards, backed with brown cloth. Remains of handwritten title label to head of the spine. Some wear to outer edges and corners but otherwise very good. Contents are very good but with light damp-staining to the lower third of the first thirty two pages. Browning to the title page and the last leaf but otherwise this is a clean tight copy. Ownership stamp on the title page of Dr med. R. Kobert, pract. Arzt. This is quite probably Rudolf Kobert (1854-1918), a pharmacologist and toxicologist who began his career working as an assistant to the physiologist Friedrich Goltz who, like Setschenow and Paschutin carried out experiments on the brains of animals. A nice copy of this important text with an interesting association.
The title translates as “New experiments on the brain and spinal cord of the frog” and follows the publication in 1863 of "Physiological studies on the inhibition mechanisms for the reflex activity of the spinal cord in the brains of the frogs”. Sechenov (his name, and that of his student Pashutin, has been rendered into German here) who lived from 1829-1905 was described by Pavlov as the "father of Russian physiology". It was while working in Paris that he discovered the notion of “central inhibition” - the repressive effects of thalamic nerve centres on spinal reflexes. This led to research on inhibition phenomena in the central nervous system which provided the beginnings of the theory of cerebral behaviour mechanisms, according to which all conscious and unconscious acts are the result of physical, structural reflexes. The theory provided the basis for the development of neurophysiology and objective psychology.