Charles Bell, Scottish anatomist

Charles Bell, Scottish anatomist

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Credit: NATIONAL LIBRARY OF MEDICINE/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Charles Bell (1774-1842). Portrait of the Scottish anatomist and surgeon Sir Charles Bell. Bell is considered to be the father of modern neurophysiology. In 1804 Bell moved to London where he became a well-known surgeon and lecturer on surgery. From 1807 he showed that nerves are not single units but consist of separate fibres within a common sheath. He proved that a fibre transmits either sensory or motor stimuli, but not both, and that a muscle must be supplied with both types of fibre. He discovered the long thoracic nerve (Bell's nerve) and showed that lesions of the seventh cranial nerve produce facial paralysis.

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