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Angelo Mosso

Angelo Mosso (30 May 1846 - 24 November 1910), 19th century Italian physiologist, who created the first crude neuroimaging technique by recording the pulsation of the human cortex in patients with skull defects following neurosurgical procedures. From his findings that these pulsations change during mental activity, he inferred that during mental activities blood flow increases to the brain. Though crude, this inference is the basis for the more refined neuroimaging techniques of FMRI, and PET, essential to neuroscience research today.

He was born in Turin, studied medicine there and in Florence, Leipzig, and Paris, and was appointed professor of pharmacology (1876) and professor of physiology (1879) at Turin. He invented various instruments to measure the pulse and experimented and wrote upon the variation in the volume of the pulse during sleep, mental activity, or emotion. In 1900-01 he visited the United States and embodied the results of his observations in Democrazia nella religione e nella scienza: studi sull' America (1901).[1] In 1882 he founded with Emery the Archives Italiennes de Biologie, in which journal most of his essays appeared. Among his other works are:

  • Die Diagnostik des Pulses (1879)
  • Sulla paura (1884)
  • La paura (1891; English translation by E. Lough and F. Kiesow, Fear, London, 1896)
  • La fatica (1891; English translation by M. A. and W. B. Drummond, Fatigue, New York, 1904)
  • La Temperatura del cervello (1894)
  • Fisiologia dell' uomo sulle Alpi (1897; third edition, 1909)
  • Mens Sana in Corpore Sano (1903)
  • Vita moderna degli Italiani (1905)
  • Escursioni nel mediterraneo e gli scavi di Creta (1907; second edition, 1910; English translation, The Palaces of Crete and their Builders, New York, 1908)
  • La preistoria: original della civilta mediterranea (1910; English translation by M. C. Harrison, The Dawn of Mediterranean Civilization, New York, 1911)
  • Nuovo Antologia (in collaboration)

Mosso was elected a member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences in 1897.


  • Mosso's ergograph — (1890) An apparatus for recording the force and frequency of flexion of the fingers
  • Mosso's sphygmomanometer — An instrument for measuring blood pressure in the arteries
The American Illustrated Medical Dictionary (1938)


External links



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