Romanes, George John (1848-94). (1) Preliminary observations on the locomotor system of medusae. Offprint from Philosophical Transactions 166 (1876). , 269-313pp. 2 plates. London: Trübner & Co., 1876. (2) Further observations on the locomotor system of medusae. Offprint from Philosophical Transactions 167 (1877). , 659-752pp. 2 plates. London: Trübner & Co., 1878. (3) Concluding observations on the locomotor system of medusae. Offprint from Philosophical Transactions 171 (1880). , 161-202pp. London: Trübner & Co., 1880. Together 3 offprints. 302 x 233 mm. Original printed wrappers. A few small chips in wrappers, otherwise fine.
First Editions, Rare Offprint Issues. “Romanes’ work with electro-stimulation directly influenced [Walter H.] Gaskell in his artificial production of ‘heart-block,’ the name for which Gaskell based on an expression of Romanes” (Garrison-Morton.com 632). Romanes, Darwin’s last disciple, performed an extensive anatomical and physiological investigation of jellyfish (medusae) in order to discover whether these creatures possessed any type of nervous system, a question that had not yet been determined. On the basis of his experiments Romanes concluded that jellyfish do possess a primitive neural network, which generates and controls their characteristic pulsating motion. Romanes further discovered that the nervous impulses causing these pulsations were unable to pass through an artificially narrowed section of tissue, which he termed a “block.” The concept of heart block, introduced by Gaskell, led to understanding of the heart's natural pacemaker and to the development of artificial pacemakers.Book Id: 43676