Bauhaus-Universität Weimar

Titel:
The analysis of complex excitable tissues by their response to electric currents of short duration
Person:
Lucas, Keith
PURL:
https://digitalesammlungen.uni-weimar.de/viewer/image/lit23165/1/
THE ANALYSIS OF COMPLEX EXCITABLE TISSUES 
BY THEIR RESPONSE TO ELECTRIC CURRENTS 
OF SHORT DURATION. By KEITH LUCAS, Fellow 
of Trinity College, Cambridge. 
{From the Physiological Laboratory, Cambridge, and the Laboratory 
of the Marine Biological Association, Plymouth.) 
I. Theory of excitation by currents of short duration. 
When the duration of an electric current sent through a muscle or a 
nerve is decreased beyond certain limits, the current strength which 
just suffices to produce an excitation is increased. This fact was first 
observed by Fick in 1863 \ It has led many physiologists to abandon 
the doctrine, which du Bois-Reymond1 2 originally maintained, of the 
paramount excitatory value of current variation, and to seek for a 
relation between the excitatory effect and some factor such as the 
current strength, the electrical energy expended, or the quantity of 
electricity passed. Formulæ have actually been put forward by 
Hoorweg3, Weiss4, and M. and Mme Lapicque5, connecting the ex¬ 
citatory effect with these various factors. And at first sight it does 
seem as though some such factor, which varies with the time of passage 
of the electric current, would have to be taken into account ; for in 
Fick’s experiment the excitatory effect became less when the duration 
of the current was alone decreased. But Fick6 also observed a similar 
effect if for duration of current he substituted duration of break in 
a constant current. He passed a constant current through a muscle, 
1 Fick. Beiträge zur vergl. Physiologie der irritabelen Substanzen, p. 20. Braun- 
schweig. 1863. 
2 Du Bois-Reymond. Untersuchungen über thierische Elektricität, i. p. 258. 
3 Hoorweg. Arch.f. d. ges. Physiol, lii. p. 87. 1892. 
4 Weiss. Arch. Ital. Biol. xxxv. p. 438. 1901. 
5 M. and Mme Lapicque. Journ. de Physiol, et de Path. v. p. 991. 1903. For an 
account of other work dealing with the same subject see Weiss loc. cit. pp. 413-528. 
6 Fick. loc. cit. p. 21.
        

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