1850 - 1900

1850 - Augustus Waller describes appearance of degenerating nerve fibers
1850 - Marshall Hall coins the term spinal shock
1850 - Emil Du Bois-Reymond invents nerve galvanometer
1851 - Heinrich Muller is first to describe the colored pigments in the retina
1851 - Marchese Alfonso Corti describes the cochlear receptor organ in the inner ear (organ of Corti)
1851 - Hermann von Helmholtz invents ophthalmoscope
1852 - A. Kolliker describes how motor nerves originate from the neurons in the anterior horn of the spinal cord
1852 - George Meissner and Rudolf Wagner describe encapsulated nerve endings later known as "Meissner's corpuscles"
1853 - William Benjamin Carpenter proposes "sensory ganglion" (thalamus) as seat of consciousness
1854 - Louis P. Gratiolet describes convolutions of the cerebral cortex
1855 - Bartolomeo Panizza shows the occipital lobe is essential for vision
1855 - Richard Heschl describes the transverse gyri in the temporal lobe (Heschl's gyri)
1856 - Albrecht von Graefe describes homonymous hemianopia
1859 - Charles Darwin publishes The Origin of Species
1859 - Rudolph Virchow coins the term neuroglia
1860 - Albert Niemann purifies cocaine
1860 - Gustav Theodor Fechner develops "Fechner's law"
1860 - Karl L. Kahlbaum describes and names "catatonia"
1861 - Paul Broca discusses cortical localization - Broca's area
1861 - T.H. Huxley coins the term calcarine sulcus
1862 - William Withey Gull describes clinical signs of syringomyelia
1862 - Hermann Snellen invents the eyechart with letters to test vision
1863 - Ivan Mikhalovich Sechenov publishes Reflexes of the Brain
1863 - Nikolaus Friedreich describes a progressive hereditary degenerative CNS disorder (Friedreich's ataxia)
1864 - John Hughlings Jackson writes on loss of speech after brain injury
1865 - Otto Friedrich Karl Deiters differentiates dendrites and axons
1865 - Otto Friedrich Karl Deiters describes the lateral vestibular nucleus (Deiter's nucleus)
1866 - John Langdon Haydon Down publishes work on congenital "idiots"
1866 - Julius Bernstein hypothesized that a nerve impulse is a "wave of negativity"
1867 - Theodore Meynert performs histologic analysis of cerebral cortex
1868 - Julius Bernstein measures the time course of the action potential
1868 - Friedrich Goll describes the fasciculus gracilis
1869 - Francis Galton claims that intelligence is inherited (publication of Hereditary Genius)
1869 - Johann Friedrich Horner describes eye disorder (small pupil, droopy eyelid) later to be called "Horner's syndrome"
1870 - Eduard Hitzig and Gustav Fritsch discover cortical motor area of dog using electrical stimulation
1870 - Ernst von Bergmann writes first textbook on nervous system surgery
1871 - Weir Mitchell provides detailed account of phantom limb syndrome
1872 - George Huntington describes symptoms of a hereditary chorea
1872 - Sir William Turner describes the interparietal sulcus
1873 - Camillo Golgi publishes first work on the silver nitrate method
1874 - Jean Martin Charcot describes amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
1874 - Vladimir Alekseyevich Betz publishes work on giant pyramidal cells
1874 - Roberts Bartholow electrically stimulates human cortical tissue
1874 - Carl Wernicke publishes Der Aphasische Symptomencomplex on aphasias
1875 - Sir David Ferrier describes different parts of monkey motor cortex
1875 - Richard Caton is first to record electrical activity from the brain
1875 - Wilhelm Heinrich Erb and Carl Friedrich Otto Westphal describe the knee jerk reflex
1876 - David Ferrier publishes The Functions of the Brain
1876 - Franz Christian Boll discovers rhodopsin
1876 - Francis Galton uses the term "nature and nurture" to explain "heredity and environment"
1877 - Jean-Martin Charcot publishes Lectures on the Diseases of the Nervous System
1878 - W. Bevan Lewis publishes work on giant pyramidal cells of human precentral gyrus
1878 - Claude Bernard describes nerve/muscle blocking action of curare
1878 - The first Ph.D. with "psychology" in its title is given to Granville Stanley Hall at Harvard University
1878 - Paul Broca publishes work on the "great limbic lobe" - Broca's area
1878 - W.R. Gowers publishes Unilateral Gunshot Injury to the Spinal Cord
1878 - Harmon Northrop Morse synthesized acetaminophen (paracetamol)
1878 - Louis-Antoine Ranvier describes regular interruptions in the myelin sheath (nodes of Ranvier)
1879 - Camillo Golgi describes the "musculo-tendineous organs" (later to be know as the "Golgi tendon organs")
1879 - Mathias Duval introduces an improved method of embedding tissue using collodion
1879 - Hermann Munk presents detailed anatomy of the optic chiasm
1879 - William Crookes invents the cathode ray tube
1879 - Wilhelm Wundt sets up lab devoted to study human behavior
1880 - Jean Baptiste Edouard Gelineau introduces the word "narcolepsy"
1880 - Friedrich Sigmund Merkel describes free nerve endings later known as "Merkel's corpuscles"
1881 - Hermann Munk reports on visual abnormalities after occipital lobe ablation in dogs
1883 - Sir Victor Horsley describes effects of nitrous oxide anesthesia
1883 - Emil Kraepelin coins the terms neuroses and psychoses
1884 - Franz Nissl describes the granular endoplasmic reticulum ("Nissl Substance")
1884 - Karl Koller discovers anesthetic properties of cocaine
1884 - Georges Gilles de la Tourette describes several movement disorders
1884 - Theodor Meynert publishes A Clinical Treatise on the Diseases of the Forebrain
1885 - Paul Ehrlich notes that intravenous dye does not stain brain tissue
1885 - Carl Weigert introduces hematoxylin to stain myelin
1885 - Ludwig Edinger describes nucleus that will be known as the Edinger-Westphal nucleus
1885 - Hermann Ebbinghaus publishes On Memory
1886 - Joseph Jastrow earns the first Ph.D. from the first formal PhD program in psychology at Johns Hopkins University
1886 - V. Marchi publishes procedure to stain degenerating myelin
1887 - Sergei Korsakoff describes symptoms characteristic in alcoholics
1887 - The National Institutes of Health established
1887 - Alfred Binet and C. Fere publish Animal Magnetism, a study on hypnosis
1887 - Adolf Eugen Fick makes the first contact lens out of glass for vision correction
1888 - William Gill describes anorexia nervosa
1888 - William W. Keen, Jr. is first American to remove intracranial meningioma
1888 - Hans Chiari introduces the term "syringomyelia"
1888 - Giovanni Martinotti describes cortical cells later known as "Martinotti cells"
1889 - Santiago Ramon y Cajal argues that nerve cells are independent elements
1889 - William His coins the term dendrite
1889 - Sir Victor Horsley publishes somatotopic map of monkey motor cortex
1889 - Carlo Martinotti describes cortical neuron with ascending axon (this neuron now bears his name, Martinotti cell)
1889 - F.C. Muller-Lyer discovers the Muller-Lyer illusion
1890 - Wilhelm Ostwald discovers the membrane theory of nerve conduction
1890 - William James publishes Principles of Psychology
1891 - H. Quincke introduces the lumbar puncture
1891 - Wilhelm von Waldeyer coins the term neuron
1891 - Luigi Luciani publishes manuscript on the cerebellum
1891 - Heinrich Quinke develops the lumbar puncture (spinal tap)
1892 - Salomen Eberhard Henschen localizes vision to calcarine fissure
1892 - American Psychological Association formed
1892 - Arnold Pick first describes "Pick's disease"
1893 - Paul Emil Flechsig describes myelinization of the brain
1893 - Charles Scott Sherrington coins the term proprioceptive
1894 - Franz Nissl stains neurons with dahlia violet
1894 - Margaret Floy Washburn is the first woman to receive a Ph.D. (Cornell University) in psychology
1895 - William His first uses the term hypothalamus
1895 - Wilhelm Konrad Roentgen invents the X-ray
1895 - Heinrick Quincke performs lumbar puncture to study cerebrospinal fluid
1895 - Formalization of the cranial nerve number system published in Basle Nomina Anatomica
1896 - Max von Frey details "stimulus hairs" to test the somatosensory system
1896 - Rudolph Albert von Kolliker coins the term axon
1896 - Camillo Golgi discovers the Golgi apparatus
1896 - Joseph Babinski describes the Babinski Sign
1896 - Emil Kraeplein describes dementia praecox
1897 - Ivan Petrovich Pavlov publishes work on physiology of digestion
1897 - Karl Ferdinand Braun invents the oscilloscope
1897 - John Jacob Abel isolates adrenalin
1897 - Charles Scott Sherrington coins the term synapse
1897 - Ferdinand Blum uses formaldehyde as brain fixative
1897 - Acetylsalicylic acid (aspirin) is synthesized by Felix Hoffmann
1898 - Charles Scott Sherrington describes decerebrate rigidity in cat
1898 - Edward Lee Thorndike describes the puzzle box
1898 - Bayer Drug Company markets heroin as nonaddicting cough medicine
1898 - John Newport Langley coins the term autonomic nervous system
1898 - Angelo Ruffini describes encapsulated nerve endings later known as Ruffini corpuscles
1899 - Francis Gotch describes a "refractory phase" between nerve impulses
1899 - Bayer AG markets aspirin
1899 - Karl Gustav August Bier uses cocaine for intraspinal anesthesia

John Hughlings Jackson
Image courtesy of the National Library of Medicine, History of Medicine Collection

Charles Darwin

Hermann von Helmholtz

Jean-Martin Charcot

Claude Bernard
Images courtesy of the Blocker History of Medicine Collections, Moody Medical Library, Univ. Texas Med. Branch, Galveston

Camillo Golgi
Courtesy of the National Library of Medicine.