Isolated Brain - History


  • 1812 - Julien Jean C├ęsar Le Gallois (a.k.a. Legallois) put forth the original idea for resuscitating decapitated heads through the use of blood transfusion.
  • 1818 - Mary Shelley published Frankenstein; or, the Modern Prometheus
  • 1836 - Astley Cooper showed in rabbits that compression of the carotid and vertebral arteries leads to death of an animal; such deaths can be prevented if the circulation of oxygenated blood to the brain is rapidly restored.
  • 1857 - Charles Brown-Sequard decapitated a dog, waited ten minutes, attached four rubber tubes to the arterial trunks of the head, and injected blood containing oxygen by means of a syringe. Two or three minutes later voluntary movements of the eyes and muscles of the muzzle resumed. After cessation of oxygenated blood transfusion movements stopped.
  • 1887 - Jean Baptiste Vincent Laborde made what appears to be first recorded attempt to revive the heads of executed criminals by connecting the carotid artery of the severed human head to the carotid artery of a large dog. According to Laborde's account, in isolated experiments a partial restoration of brain function was attained.
  • 1912 - Corneille Heymans maintained life in an isolated dog's head by connecting the carotid artery and jugular vein of the severed head to the carotid artery and jugular vein of another dog. Partial functioning in the severed head was maintained for a few hours.
  • 1928 - Sergey Bryukhonenko showed life could be maintained in the severed head of a dog by connecting the carotid artery and jugular vein to an artificial circulation machine.
  • 1963 - Robert J. White isolated the brain from one monkey and attached it to the circulatory system of another animal.

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