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Fine Literature
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Johannes Peter Müller

German physiologist and comparative anatomist, born in Coblenz, July 14, 1801. He studied at the University of Bonn, and was appointed to a professorship in physiology there in 1826. In 1843 he accepted the call to the chair of anatomy and physiology at Berlin University, which position he held with great honor until his death, April 28, 1858. He did much research in physiology, particularly in relation to human speech and hearing. His great work was the Handbuch der Physiologie des Menschen, 1833-40. (The English translation was made by Dr. William Baly, publ. London 1842). This work opened a new period in the study of physiology, and Müller is considered the main figure in the developments in this field in the mid-19th century. In his Handbuch Müller developed an entirely new principle which he called "the law of specific energy of sense substances." This he expressed as follows: "The kind of sensation following stimulation of a sensory nerve does not depend on the mode of stimulation, but upon the nature of the sense organ. Thus, light, pressure, or mechanical stimulation acting on the retina and optic nerve invariably produces luminous impressions."

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