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Born Oct. 21, 1838, in Berlin; died June 5, 1914, in Königsberg. German physiologist; a student of E. Du Bois-Reymond.
Hermann graduated from the University of Berlin in 1859. He was professor at the University of Zürich from 1868 and at the University of Königsberg from 1884. His main works deal with neuromuscular physiology. He showed that the dying parts of muscles and nerves become electrically negative in relation to the normal parts, which is the cause of the so-called currents of rest in nerves and muscles. He advanced the theory of the bioelectric mechanism of nerve conduction: the action current, originating at the place of stimulation of the nerve, irritates its neighboring section, and as a result the stimulus is relayed along the nerve by its own electric current. Hermann determined through experimentation the speed with which the contraction wave in human muscles is relayed. He studied the bioelectrical currents of glands in action and the physiology of sound formations by photographic registration of sound vibrations. He published a number of works on breathing and digestion and was editor and coauthor of the six-volume Manual of Physiology, which was translated into Russian in 1885-89.
WORKSLehrbuch der experimentellen Toxicologie. Berlin, 1874.
Leitfaden für das physiologische Practicum. Leipzig, 1898.
In Russian translation:
Osnovy fiziologii cheloveka, 2nd ed. Edited by I. Sechenov. St. Petersburg, 1875.