Galvani, Luigi


Luigi Galvani (1737–1798), an Italian anatomist and physician whose research on animal electricity made a significant contribution to the birth of electrophysiology.

Keywords: animal electricity; electrophysiology; muscle contraction; eighteenth century; Galvanism

Figure 1.

Some experimental arrangements designed by Galvani in his research on animal electricity (plate 4 of Galvani's De viribus electricitatis in motu musculari). Reproduced by permission of Biblioteca Ariostea di Ferrara.


Further Reading

Bresadola M (1998) Medicine and science in the life of Luigi Galvani (1737–1798). Brain Research Bulletin 46: 367–380.

Bresadola M (2008) Animal electricity at the end of the eighteenth century: the many facets of a great scientific discovery. Journal of the History of the Neurosciences 17: 8–32.

Bresadola M and Pancaldi G (eds) (1999) Luigi Galvani International Workshop. Bologna: CIS.

Galvani L (1953) Commentary on the Effects of Electricity on Muscular Motion. M Glover Foley (transl.), IB Cohen (ed.). Norwalk, CT: Burndy Library.

Gillispie CC (ed.) (1970–1980) Dictionary of Scientific Biography. New York: Charles Cribner's Sons.

Heilbron JL (1991) The contributions of Bologna to Galvanism. Historical Studies in the Physical and Biological Sciences 22: 57–85.

Home RW (1970) Electricity and the Nervous Fluid. Journal of the History of Biology 3: 235–251.

Pera M (1992) The Ambiguous Frog: The Galvani‐Volta Controversy on Animal Electricity. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

Williams BI (2000) The Matter of Motion and Galvani's Frogs. Bletchingdon: Rana.

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How to Cite close
Bresadola, Marco(Dec 2008) Galvani, Luigi. In: eLS. John Wiley & Sons Ltd, Chichester. [doi: 10.1002/9780470015902.a0002801]