Walter Bradford Cannon


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Cannon, Walter Bradford

 

Born Oct. 19, 1871, in Prairie du Chien, Wis.; died Oct. 1, 1945, in Franklin, N.H. American physiologist and doctor of medicine (1900).

Cannon graduated from Harvard University in 1896. He was a professor of physiology at the Harvard Advanced Medical School from 1906 to 1942. In 1897 he pioneered the use of the X-ray method in his research on the motor function of the gastrointestinal tract. His principal works were devoted to neurohumoral regulation of functions, the role of the sympathetic nervous system and hormones in the formation of emotions, and internal equilibrium of the body, which he named homeostasis (1929). He elaborated the toxemic theory of shock and made a substantial contribution to the chemical theory of the transmission of the nerve impulse; he also investigated the change in reactivity of denervated muscles.

An antifascist, Cannon was a progressive public figure in the USA. He corresponded with I. P. Pavlov. He became an honorary member of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR in 1942.

WORKS

The Wisdom of the Body. New York, 1939.
The Way of an Investigator. New York, 1945.
In Russian translation:
Fiziologiia emotsii. Leningrad, 1927.
Problema shoka. Moscow-Leningrad, 1943.
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The term fight or flight was first coined in 1932 by Harvard Medical School professor Walter Bradford Cannon.
The Life and Contributions of Walter Bradford Cannon 1871-1945.
186-193 in The Life and Contributions of Walter Bradford Cannon.