Mind, brain, body, and soul: A review of the electrophysiological undercurrents for Dr. Frankenstein

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Abstract

Mary Shelley's Frankenstein is perhaps the most famous work of medical science fiction. She and her husband, the poet Percy Shelley, were aware of nascent neuroscience experimentation and the effects of electricity on neuromuscular function. Such experiments generated theories of voluntary, involuntary, and unconscious neuromuscular function; animal electricity; and the anima - the human vital principle. In Germany and Italy, investigators were performing bizarre electrical experiments on animals and humans to "reanimate" lifeless limbs and bodies. These demonstrations and theories find expression in Frankenstein and provide models for Dr. Frankenstein and his creation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)301-304
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Clinical Neurophysiology
Volume21
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 17 2004

Keywords

  • Frankenstein
  • Mary Shelley
  • Neurophysiology
  • Reanimation
  • Science fiction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Physiology (medical)

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