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Encyclopedia > John Carew Eccles

Sir John Carew Eccles (January 27, 1903May 2, 1997) was an Australian neurophysiologist who won the 1963 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for his work on the synapse. He shared the prize together with Andrew Fielding Huxley and Alan Lloyd Hodgkin. January 27 is the 27th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... 1903 (MCMIII) was a common year starting on Thursday (see link for calendar). ... May 2 is the 122nd day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (123rd in leap years). ... 1997 (MCMXCVII) was a common year starting on Wednesday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Neurophysiology is a part of physiology as a science, which is concerned with the study of the nervous system. ... 1963 (MCMLXIII) was a common year starting on Tuesday (the link is to a full 1963 calendar). ... List of Nobel Prize laureates in Physiology or Medicine from 1901 to the present day. ... Illustration of the major elements in a prototypical synapse. ... Sir Andrew Fielding Huxley OM FRS (born 22 November 1917, Hampstead, London, England, UK) is a British physiologist and biophysicist, who won the 1963 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for his work with Alan Lloyd Hodgkin on the basis of nerve action potentials, the electrical impulses that enable the... Sir Alan Lloyd Hodgkin (February 5, 1914 – December 20, 1998) was a British physiologist and biophysicist, who won the 1963 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for his work with Andrew Fielding Huxley on the basis of nerve action potentials, the electrical impulses that enable the activity of an organism...

John Eccles, shown here at his lab bench
John Eccles, shown here at his lab bench


John Eccles From the NIH website, Courtesy of the National Library of Medicine. ... John Eccles From the NIH website, Courtesy of the National Library of Medicine. ...


In the early 1950s, Eccles and his colleagues performed the key experiments that would win Eccles the Nobel Prize. To study synapses in the peripheral nervous system, Eccles and colleagues used the stretch reflex as a model. This reflex is easily studied because it consists of only two neurons: a sensory neuron (the muscle spindle fiber) and the motor neuron. The sensory neuron synapses onto the motor neuron in the spinal cord. When Eccles passed a current into the sensory neuron in the quadriceps, the motor neuron innervating the quadricep produced a small excitatory postsynaptic potential (EPSP). When he passed the same current through the hamstring, the opposing muscle to the quadricep, he saw an inhibitory postsynaptic potential (IPSP) in the quadricep motor neuron. Although a single EPSP was not enough to fire an action potential in the motor neuron, the sum of several EPSPs from multiple sensory neurons synapsing onto the motor neuron could cause the motor neuron to fire, thus contracting the quadricep. On the other hand, IPSPs could subtract from this sum of EPSPs, preventing the motor neuron from firing. The 1950s were a decade that spanned the years 1950 through 1959. ... A reflex action or reflex is a biological control system linking stimulus to response and mediated by a reflex arc. ... Drawing by Santiago Ramón y Cajal of cells in the pigeon cerebellum. ... A muscle spindle is a specialized muscle structure innervated by both sensory and motor neuron axons. ... In vertebrates, motoneurons (also called motor neurons) are efferent neurons that originate in the spinal cord and synapse with muscle fibers to facilitate muscle contraction and with muscle spindles to modify proprioceptive sensitivity. ... Cross-section through cervical spinal cord. ... Muscles of the iliac and anterior femoral regions. ... In neuroscience, an excitatory postsynaptic potential (EPSP) is a temporary increase in postsynaptic membrane potential caused by the flow of positively charged ions into the postsynaptic cell. ... Hamstring refers to the common tendon of the muscles making up the ham in animals, primarily the semitendinosus and biceps femoris. ... Inhibitory Postsynaptic Potential is commonly abbreviated to Impulses are transmitted from neuron to neuron by the release of a chemical transmitter across synaptic clefts from the synaptic vesicles along the axon to the postsynaptic receptors of another neuron. ... A. A schematic view of an idealized action potential illustrates its various phases as the action potential passes a point on a cell membrane. ...

Apart from these seminal experiments, Eccles was key to a number of important developments in neuroscience. Until around 1949, Eccles believed that synaptic transmission was primarily electrical rather than chemical. Although he was wrong in this hypothesis, his arguments led himself and others to perform some of the experiments which proved chemical synaptic transmission. Bernard Katz and Eccles worked together on some of the experiments which elucidated the role of acetylcholine as a neurotransmitter. Neuroscience is a field of study that deals with the structure, function, development, genetics, biochemistry, physiology, pharmacology, and pathology of the nervous system, consisting of the myriad nerve pathways running throughout the body. ... 1949 (MCMXLIX) is a common year starting on Saturday. ... Synapses allow nerve cells to communicate with one another through axons and dendrites, converting electrical signals into chemical ones. ... Sir Bernard Katz (March 26, 1911 - April 20, 2003) was a German-born biophysicist, noted for his work on nerve biochemistry. ... The chemical compound acetylcholine, often abbreviated as ACh, was the first neurotransmitter to be identified. ... Neurotransmitters are chemicals that are used to relay, amplify and modulate electrical signals between a neuron and another cell. ...


Eccles was born in Melbourne, Australia. He attended Melbourne High School and graduated from Melbourne University in 1925. He was awarded a Rhodes Scholarship to study under Charles Scott Sherrington at Oxford University, where he received his Doctor of Philosophy in 1929. In 1937 Eccles returned to Australia, where he worked on military research during World War II. After the war, he became a professor at the University of Otago in New Zealand. From 1952 to 1962 he worked as a professor at the Australian National University. He won the Australian of the Year Award in 1963, the same year he won the Nobel Prize. In 1966 he moved to the United States to work at the Institute for Biomedical Research in Chicago, Illinois. Unhappy with the working conditions there, he left to become a professor at the University at Buffalo from 1968 until he retired in 1975. After retirement, he moved to Switzerland and wrote on the mind-body problem. He died in 1997 in Locarno, Switzerland. Eccles was a devout Catholic, and is regarded by many Christians as an examplar of the successful melding of a life of science with one of faith. Melbourne is the state capital and largest city in the Australian State of Victoria, and the second-largest city in Australia, with a population of approximately 3. ... Name Melbourne High School Address Forrest Hill Suburb South Yarra, Victoria 3141 Established 1905 Community Mixed: Urban & Rural Type State (Selective Entry) Religion Secular Students Approx. ... The University of Melbourne, located in Melbourne, in Victoria, is the second oldest university in Australia (the University of Sydney is the oldest). ... 1925 (MCMXXV) was a common year starting on Thursday (link will take you to calendar). ... Rhodes House in Oxford The Rhodes Scholarships were created by Cecil Rhodes and have been awarded to applicants annually since 1902 by the Oxford-based Rhodes Trust on the basis of academic qualities, as well as those of character. ... Sherrington is considered one of the fathers of neuroscience. ... The University of Oxford, located in the city of Oxford in England, is the oldest university in the English-speaking world. ... Doctor of Philosophy, or Ph. ... 1929 (MCMXXIX) was a common year starting on Tuesday (link will take you to calendar). ... 1937 (MCMXXXVII) was a common year starting on Friday (link will take you to calendar). ... Combatants Allies: Poland, British Commonwealth, France/Free France, Soviet Union, United States, China, and others Axis Powers: Germany, Italy, Japan, and others Casualties Military dead: 17 million Civilian dead: 33 million Total dead: 50 million Military dead: 8 million Civilian dead: 4 million Total dead: 12 million World War II... The University of Otago in Dunedin is New Zealands oldest university. ... 1952 (MCMLII) was a Leap year starting on Tuesday (link will take you to calendar). ... 1962 (MCMLXII) was a common year starting on Monday (the link is to a full 1962 calendar). ... The Australian National University (ANU), is a university located in Canberra, the national capital of Australia. ... The Australian of the Year Awards commenced in 1960. ... 1966 (MCMLXVI) was a common year starting on Saturday (the link is to a full 1966 calendar). ... Nickname: The Windy City Motto: Urbs In Horto (Latin: City in a Garden), I Will Official website: http://egov. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... 1968 (MCMLXVIII) was a leap year starting on Monday (the link is to a full 1968 calendar). ... 1975 (MCMLXXV) was a common year starting on Wednesday (the link is to a full 1975 calendar). ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article may require cleanup. ... Location within Switzerland Locarno is a city located on Lake Maggiore (Lago Maggiore) in the southern Swiss canton of Ticino, close to Ascona. ...


How the Self Controls Its Brain is a book by Sir John Eccles, proposing a theory of philosophical dualism, and offering a justification of how there can be mind-brain action without violating the principle of the conservation of energy. ... Sir Karl Raimund Popper, CH, KT, MA, Ph. ...

External links

Preceded by:
Alexander 'Jock' Sturrock
Australian of the Year
Succeeded by:
Dawn Fraser

  Results from FactBites:
John Carew Eccles Summary (7947 words)
John Carew Eccles was born in Melbourne, Australia, on January 27, 1903, the first of two children of two teachers.
John Franklin Enders was born in Connecticut and graduated from Yale University in 1920.
Eccles and his colleagues analyzed a newly reported form of spinal inhibition reported by Frank and Fuortes in 1957 and found that it was due to reduced transmitter release from the presynaptic terminals of the test fibers, a finding they described as presynaptic inhibition.
AAS-Biographical memoirs-Eccles (16057 words)
John Carew Eccles was born on 27 January 1903 at Northcote, a suburb of Melbourne.
Eccles was deeply impressed by Popper's main tenet, that scientific hypotheses should be both clearly formulated and testable by experiment, and that the strength of a hypothesis depended on the failure of rigorous investigation to falsify it rather than on evidence which apparently supported it.
Eccles was awarded a Royal Medal in 1962, and the award in 1963 of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, shared with A.L.Hodgkin and A.F.Huxley, recognized his fundamental contributions to the ionic mechanisms of synaptic transmission in the brain.
  More results at FactBites »



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