Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Why Study Biology by the Sea?$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Karl S. Matlin, Jane Maienschein, and Rachel A. Ankeny

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780226672762

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2020

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226673097.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 24 May 2022

Francis O. Schmitt: At the Intersection of Neuroscience and Squid

Francis O. Schmitt: At the Intersection of Neuroscience and Squid

(p.187) Eight Francis O. Schmitt: At the Intersection of Neuroscience and Squid
Why Study Biology by the Sea?

Kathryn Maxson Jones

University of Chicago Press

This chapter explores the career of neuroscientist Francis O. Schmitt (1903-1995): how his experimental research relied on marine organisms and marine laboratories, and more generally how this earlier phase in his career related to his foundation of the Neurosciences Research Program at MIT from 1962 to 1963. From the 1930s through the 1950s, a network of marine stations, especially the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, MA, offered brick-and-mortar places where Schmitt and his colleagues could adopt new experimental systems for studying action potentials. Working from these labs, Schmitt and his colleagues could obtain their choice experimental organisms, squid, which in turn supplied the materials necessary for their work: the abnormally large axons of squid neurons. More theoretically, Schmitt’s research with squid required and facilitated comparative studies, expanding physiologists’ understandings of the varieties of neurons existing in the natural world. Placed into historical context, moreover, Schmitt’s story demonstrates how other neurophysiologists of his era approached such diversity differently than he did, and how finding unifying principles, including amongst the multiplicity of neurons in marine organisms, has always challenged neurobiologists.

Keywords:   squid, Francis Schmitt, Neurosciences Research Program, Marine Biological Laboratory

Chicago Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.