Concept

Electrical brain stimulation

Résumé
Electrical brain stimulation (EBS), also referred to as focal brain stimulation (FBS), is a form of electrotherapy used as a technique in research and clinical neurobiology to stimulate a neuron or neural network in the brain through the direct or indirect excitation of its cell membrane by using an electric current. EBS is used for research or for therapeutic purposes. Electrical brain stimulation was first used in the first half of the 19th century by pioneering researchers such as Luigi Rolando (1773–1831) and Pierre Flourens (1794–1867), to study the brain localization of function, following the discovery by Italian physician Luigi Galvani (1737–1798) that nerves and muscles were electrically excitable. The stimulation of the surface of the cerebral cortex by using brain stimulation was used to investigate the motor cortex in animals by researchers such as Eduard Hitzig (1838–1907), Gustav Fritsch (1838–1927), David Ferrier (1842–1928) and Friedrich Goltz (1834–1902). The human cortex was also stimulated electrically by neurosurgeons and neurologists such as Robert Bartholow (1831–1904) and Fedor Krause (1857–1937). In the following century, the technique was improved by the invention of the stereotactic method by British neurosurgeon pioneer Victor Horsley (1857–1916), and by the development of chronic electrode implants by Swiss neurophysiologist Walter Rudolf Hess (1881–1973), José Delgado (1915–2011) and others, by using electrodes manufactured by straight insulated wire that could be inserted deep into the brain of freely-behaving animals, such as cats and monkeys. This approach was used by James Olds (1922–1976) and colleagues to discover brain stimulation reward and the pleasure center. American-Canadian neurosurgeon Wilder Penfield (1891–1976) and colleagues at the Montreal Neurological Institute used extensive electrical stimulation of the brain cortex in awake neurosurgical patients to investigate the motor and sensory homunculus (the representation of the body in the brain cortex according to the distribution of motor and sensory territories).
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