Müller , Johannes Peter
(1801–1858) German physiologist
Müller, a shoemaker's son from Koblenz in Germany, graduated in medicine from the University of Bonn in 1822. He worked as a pathologist in Bonn until 1833 when he moved to the University of Berlin as professor of anatomy and physiology, a post he retained until his death.
Müller was the most important figure in 19th-century German physiology. Not only did he number among his pupils such figures as Hermann von Helmholtz, Carl Ludwig, Rudolf Virchow, and Max Schultze but those he did not teach were reached by his influential work, Handbuch der Physiologie des Menschen (2 vols., 1834–40; Handbook of Human Physiology).
It was in the field of neurophysiology that Müller made his major contribution to science. In 1831 he neatly and conclusively confirmed the law of Charles Bell and François Magendie, which first clearly distinguished between motor and sensory nerves. Using frogs and dogs, Müller cut through the posterior roots of nerves from a limb as they entered the spinal cord. The limb was insensible but not paralyzed. When however Müller severed the anterior root he found that the limb had become paralyzed but had not lost its sensibility.
He also worked on the cranial nerves and succeeded in showing that the first two branches of the trigeminal nerve are sensory while the third branch, to the jaw, contains motor fibers also. The vagus and the glossopharyngeal were, Müller claimed, mixed nerves.
Müller also formulated, in 1826, the law of specific nervous energies, which claimed that nerves are not merely passive conductors but that each particular type of nerve has its own special qualities. For example, the visual nerves, however they may be stimulated, are only capable of transmitting visual data. More specifically, if such a nerve is stimulated, whether by pressure, electric current, or a flashing light, the result will always be a visual experience.
After the completion of the Handbuch in 1840 Müller turned more to problems of anatomy and physiology. He worked with Robert Remak on embryological problems and was the first to describe what later became known as the Müllerian duct. This is a tube found in vertebrate embryos, which develops into the oviduct in females; it is found only vestigially in males. He also spent a large amount of time collecting and classifying zoological specimens.
Müller was much given to fits of depression, frequently feeling that his own creativity was exhausted. Consequently when he was found dead in bed, although no autopsy was ever performed, it was widely assumed that he had died by his own hand.

Scientists. . 2011.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Müller, Johannes Peter — born July 14, 1801, Koblenz, France died April 28, 1858, Berlin, Ger. German physiologist, comparative anatomist, and natural philosopher. He studied at the Universities of Bonn and Berlin and later taught at both. His discovery that each sense… …   Universalium

  • Müller, Johannes Peter — (1801 1858)    A German physiologist and zoologist who is probably best known in psychiatry for his work On the Fantastic Phenomena of Lision,inwhich he laid down important new principles for the description, understanding, and explanation of… …   Dictionary of Hallucinations

  • Müller, Johannes Peter — (14 jul. 1801, Coblenza, Francia–28 abr. 1858, Berlín, Alemania). Fisiólogo, anatomista comparativo y filósofo naturalista alemán. Estudió en las Universidades de Bonn y Berlín, y después fue docente en ambas. Su descubrimiento de que cada órgano …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Johannes Peter Müller — Nacimiento 14 de julio de 1801 Coblenz Fallecimiento 28 de abril de 1858 …   Wikipedia Español

  • Johannes Peter Muller — Johannes Peter Müller Pour les articles homonymes, voir Müller. Johannes Peter Müller (1801 1958) Johannes Peter Müller, né le 14  …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Johannes Peter Müller — Pour les articles homonymes, voir Müller. Johannes Peter Müller (1801 1958) Johannes Peter Müller, né le 14 juillet 1801 à …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Johannes Peter Müller — Johannes Müller 1801 1858 Johannes Müller 1801 1858 …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Johannes Peter Müller — Infobox Scientist name = PAGENAME box width = image width =150px caption = PAGENAME birth date = July 14, 1801 birth place = Koblenz death date = April 28, 1858 death place = Berlin residence = citizenship = nationality = Germany ethnicity =… …   Wikipedia

  • Johannes Peter Muller — noun German physiologist and anatomist (1801 1858) • Syn: ↑Muller • Instance Hypernyms: ↑physiologist, ↑anatomist …   Useful english dictionary

  • Müller — Johannes Peter …   Scientists

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”