Hess , Walter Rudolf
(1881–1973) Swiss neurophysiologist
The son of a physics teacher from Frauenfel in Switzerland, Hess was educated at the universities of Lausanne, Bern, Berlin, Kiel, and Zurich where he obtained his MD in 1906. Although he actually began as an ophthalmologist, building up a prosperous practice, he decided in 1912 to abandon it for a career in physiology. After junior posts in Zurich and Bonn he was appointed in 1917 to the directorship of the physiology department at the University of Zurich, where he remained until his retirement in 1951.
In the early 1920s Hess began an important investigation of the interbrain and hypothalamus. To do this he inserted fine electrodes into the brains of cats, and used these to stimulate specific groups of cells. His most startling discovery was that when electrodes in the posterior interbrain were switched on this would instantaneously turn a friendly cat into an aggressive spitting creature – a transformation instantly reversed by a further press of the switch. Other areas found by Hess would induce flight, sleep, or defecation.
Less dramatic perhaps but no less significant were the two main areas identified by Hess in the hypothalamus. Stimulation of the posterior region prepared the animal for action but stimulation of the anterior region tended to cause relaxation. Hess had discovered the control center for the sympathetic and parasympathetic systems.
Hess's work was enormously influential and led to a detailed mapping of the interbrain and hypothalamus by many different workers in various centers over a number of years. For his discovery of “the functional organization of the interbrain” Hess was awarded the 1949 Nobel Prize for physiology or medicine, sharing it with Antonio Egas Moniz.

Scientists. . 2011.

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  • Hess,Walter Rudolf — Hess, Walter Rudolf. 1881 1973. Swiss physiologist. He shared a 1949 Nobel Prize for his research on the brain s control of the body. * * * …   Universalium

  • Hess, Walter Rudolf — born March 17, 1881, Frauenfeld, Switz. died Aug. 12, 1973, Locarno Swiss physiologist. He worked at the University of Zürich (1917–51). His interests centred on the nerves that control automatic functions such as digestion and excretion and that …   Universalium

  • Hess, Walter Rudolf — (17 mar. 1881, Frauenfeld, Suiza–12 ago. 1973, Locarno). Fisiólogo suizo. Trabajó en la Universidad de Zürich (1917–51). Su interés se centró en los nervios que controlan las funciones automáticas, como la digestión y la excreción, y que asimismo …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Walter Rudolf Hess — (* 17. März 1881 in Frauenfeld, Schweiz; † 12. August 1973 in Muralto, heute zu Locarno, Schweiz) war ein Schweizer Physiologe. 1949 erhielten er und António Caetano de Abreu Freire Egas Moniz gemeinsam den Nobelpreis für Physiologie oder Medizin …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Walter Rudolf Hess — Pour les articles homonymes, voir Hess.  Ne doit pas être confondu avec Rudolf Hess. Walter Rudolf Hess (17 mars 1881 à Frauenfeld, Suisse 12 août 1973 à Muralto, Suisse) est un physiologiste …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Walter Rudolf Hess — Nacimiento 17 de marzo 1881  Suiza …   Wikipedia Español

  • Walter Rudolf Hess — Infobox Scientist name = Walter Rudolf Hess imagesize = 160px birth date = March 17, 1881 birth place = Frauenfeld, Switzerland death date = August 12, 1973 death place = Locarno Switzerland nationality = Switzerland field = Physiology work… …   Wikipedia

  • Walter Rudolf Hess — noun Swiss physiologist noted for studies of the brain (1881 1973) • Syn: ↑Hess, ↑Walter Hess • Instance Hypernyms: ↑physiologist …   Useful english dictionary

  • Hess, (Walter Richard)Rudolf — Hess (hĕs), (Walter Richard) Rudolf. 1894 1987. German Nazi leader. When Hitler became chancellor (1933), he named Hess as deputy führer and later (1939) as second in succession to the Nazi leadership. In May 1941 Hess was captured in Scotland,… …   Universalium

  • Hess, (Walter Richard) Rudolf — born April 26, 1894, Alexandria, Egypt died Aug. 17, 1987, West Berlin, W.Ger. German Nazi leader. He joined the fledgling Nazi Party in 1920 and soon became Adolf Hitler s friend. After participating in the Beer Hall Putsch (1923), he escaped… …   Universalium

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