Sir Charles Scott Sherrington

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Sherrington, Sir Charles Scott,

1857–1952, English neurophysiologist, educated at Cambridge. He was professor of physiology at the universities of Liverpool and London and at Oxford. He contributed major concepts in his field, among them that of proprioception, that of the function of the synapse (a term he introduced), and the process described in his Integrative Action of the Nervous System (1906, 2d ed. 1948). As a physician, he did important work in the study of cholera and of diphtheria and tetanus antitoxins, and played an important role in the improvement of health and safety conditions in British factories during World War I. He was knighted in 1922 and with E. D. Adrian shared the 1932 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for their discoveries regarding the function of the neuron. Among his other works are Mammalian Physiology (1919, rev. ed. 1929), The Brain and Its Mechanism (1933), and Man on His Nature (1940, 2d ed. 1952). He was also known as a philosopher and poet.