Vorontsov, Daniil Semenovich
Born Dec. 12 (24), 1886, in Propoisk, present-day Slavgorod, Mogilev Oblast; died July 21, 1965, in Kiev. Soviet electrophysiologist. Academician of the Academy of Sciences of the Ukrainian SSR (1957).
Vorontsov graduated from the University of St. Petersburg in 1912 and specialized in N. E. Vvedenskii’s laboratory. In 1922 he organized the physiology subdepartment at the University of Smolensk. In 1930 he became head of the physiology subdepartment at the University of Kazan; he occupied the same post at the Kiev Medical Institute from 1935 to 1941. Vorontsov established the division of general physiology at the Institute of Physiology of the University of Kiev in 1945 and the electrophysiology laboratory at the Institute of Physiology of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR in 1956. His main work dealt with the electrophysiology of excitation and inhibition in nerve tissue. He concluded that the nerve tissue’s excitability that is lost upon exposure to monovalent cations can be quickly restored by the action of the anode of direct current. The changes induced by bivalent cations are restored by the action of the cathode of direct current (the so-called Vorontsov phenomena). In 1924, Vorontsov discovered and analyzed trace electronegativity arising in a nerve as an impulse spreads. He found that pessimal inhibition arising in the myoneural junction after the arrival of frequent nerve impulses disappears after very brief interruptions of stimulation. The cause of the pessimum is the interaction of the successive impulses in the region of the nerve endings. Vorontsov also studied the nature of the slow electrical oscillations occurring in the central nervous system.
WORKSObshchaia elektrofiziologiia. Moscow, 1961.
Fizicheskii elektroton nervov i myshts. Kiev, 1966 (With M. F. Shuba.)
P. G. KOSTIUK