Charles Scott Sherrington: biography of this English neurophysiologist.
A review of the life and work of Charles Scott Sherrington, one of the leading figures in neurology.
Different branches of medicine, such as neurology and neurophysiology, are dedicated to the study of the nervous system. Fortunately, these two disciplines have advanced greatly over the years. An outstanding figure in this regard was Charles Scott Sherrington, English neurophysiologist and Nobel Prize for Medicine in 1932.
In this article we will get to know this important figure in the history of medicine through a biography of Charles Scott Sherrington, and we will comment on his contributions and the history of his work in the field of neurophysiology.and we will comment on the most relevant contributions and data on his academic and professional career.
Biography of Charles Scott Sherrington: who was he?
Charles Scott Sherrington (1857-1952) was an English neurophysiologist and Nobel Laureate in Medicine, who was born in Islington, London, on November 27, 1857, and died in Eastbourne, England, on March 4, 1952.He was born in Islington, London, on November 27, 1857, and died in Eastbourne (England) on March 4, 1952. This English physician focused on studying, above all, the different functions of the cerebral cortex.
Charles received the Nobel Prize in Medicine in 1932, thanks to his contributions in the field of neurophysiology. His contributions for which he received this prize had to do with the functioning of the nervous system from the point of view of the neuron and the synapses, and his work on the functions of the brain cortex.His work on the functions of the cerebral cortex, as well as his reflexology research.
Childhood, adolescence and personal life
When Charles Scott Sherrington was still a small child, his father passed away. His mother remarried, this time to Caleb Rose, who came from a cultured family with a passion for literature and art, fields that also interested Charles.
As a child (and also as a teenager), Charles was a great athlete, who excelled in different schools, such as Queen Elizabeth's School (Ipswich), where he was in 1871, and Gonville and Caius Collegue (Cambridge), a little later. It was at the latter that Charles practiced rugby and also rowing. On the other hand, he also excelled in winter sports at Grindelwald.
As for his personal life, we highlight his marriage to Ethel Mary, in 1892, daughter of John Ely Wright.
Charles Scott Sherrington began his medical studies at St. Thomas Hospital, in 1876, and two years later, at St. Thomas Hospital, in 1876.Two years later, in 1878, he passed the examination of the Royal College of Surgeons. He stayed in Edinburgh and later traveled to Cambridge in 1879.
It is there, at the University of Cambridge, where he did most of his medical studies, and where he graduated in 1885. Charles Charles was influenced by the physiologist Michael Fosterwho was one of his professors.
Two years after his graduation, Charles Scott Sherrington started working at St. Thomas Hospital, where he had already been, this time to teach medicine. Later, he developed different experiments in the veterinary department of another university, the University of London, which was called Brown Institution.
Charles' academic and professional life took a turn, and in 1885 he began to work as a professor of medicine at the University of Liverpool. Later, in 1913, he worked as professor of physiology at the University of Oxford, one of the most important universities in the world.one of the most important and reputable universities in the world.
As for his professional achievements and recognitions, in addition to the aforementioned outstanding Nobel Prize, Charles Scott Sherrington was President of the Royal Society for five years, from 1920 to 1925.. The Royal Society, with its full name "Royal Society of London for Improving Natural Knowledge", translates in English as "Royal Society of London for the Advancement of Natural Science".
This society is the oldest scientific society in the United Kingdom, as well as one of the oldest at the European level, and has received the participation, contribution and collaboration of very important scientists over many years, from different fields and areas.
Charles also received awards for his academic and professional work. Some of them were: the Grand Cross of the British Empire, in 1922, and the Order of Merit, two years later, in 1924.
After a long career in academia, Charles retired from teaching in 1935. However, he continued to lecture and continued to lecture and write several publications on medicine and neurophysiology..
Relevant contributions to science
Neurophysiology, the science to which Charles Scott Sherrington devoted his entire life, is a specialty of medicine and to a specialty of medicine and at the same time a branch of neuroscience.. Its mission is to study the central nervous system (CNS) and the peripheral nervous system (PNS).
That is, the brain and spinal cord (CNS) and the muscles, nerves and sensory organs (PNS). All this also implies the approach to all those diseases or pathologies that affect one of these two systems (or both).
Charles Charles introduced the concept of "synapse" in 1897.. As a result, he postulated the synaptic hypothesis, which described the interactions that occurred between reflexes; according to this hypothesis, neuronal information travels from neuron to neuron, and does so through a small interval between cells, called "synapse".
In addition, Charles Scott Sherrington contributed to the description of the nervous mechanisms of muscle movement..
Charles pointed out that the nervous stimulation of a muscle is capable of inhibiting, in turn, the movement of the opposite muscle. He called this phenomenon "Sherrington's Law".
Another of Charles' contributions was the classification of the human sensory organs, according to the origin of the stimulus they perceive. Specifically, he grouped them into: exteroceptor, interoceptor and proprioceptor organs.
On the other hand, it is worth mentioning that Charles Scott Sherrington is considered to be the father of English neurology, together with John Hughlings JacksonCharles, an English neurologist, was also a member of the Royal Society, together with Charles.
In this sense, Charles' contributions in relation to treatments and the subsequent development of the medical specialty of neurosurgery stand out.
As for his works, these are numerous, but we will mention two of the most important ones: The integrative action of the nervous system (1904) y The reflex activity of the spinal cord (1932).
Death and legacy
After a lifetime devoted to neurophysiology and the study of the nervous system, Charles' health became fragile, and Charles Scott Sherrington died, at the age of 95, of Heart failure.
It happened in an English town, Eastbourne, on March 5, 1952. To this day, Charles is still considered one of the pioneers of English neurology..
- Gillispie, Ch. C. Dictionary of scientific biography, New Cork, Charles Scribner's sons, vol. XII, pp.395-403.
- Rothschuh, K.E. La fisiología, In: Laín (dir), Historia Universal de la Medicina, Barcelona, Salvat, vol. 6, 59-97, 1974.
- Ruiza, M., Fernández, T. and Tamaro, E. (2004). Biography of Charles Scott Sherrington. In Biographies and Lives. The online biographical encyclopedia. Barcelona (Spain).
- Valderas, J.M. (2017). Charles Scott Sherrington, synapses and reflexes. Research and science.
(Updated at Mar 28 / 2023)