The Physiology of Standing (Das Stehen)

Postural Reactions and Equilibrium with Special References to the Behavior of Decerebellate Animals


G. G. J. Rademaker

This is the first English translation of Das Stehen, a classic work by the Dutch physiologist G.G.J. Rademaker (1887-1957), professor at the Universities of Utrecht and Leiden. Written in German, Das Stehen was published in Berlin in 1931. Rademaker, who began his medical career as a surgeon, became interested in the physiology of the nervous system; he initiated research into the long-term survival of animals following removal of the cerebellum and, later, of animals after removal of both cerebral hemispheres. Based on these studies of decerebellate dogs and cats, Das Stehen was primarily an analysis of cerebellar defect but had much wider significance in relation to the neurological mechanisms of righting, standing, and equilibrium.
Das Stehen contains a wealth of carefully documented information defining with exactitude the part played by the many cutaneous proprioceptive, and labyrinthine reactions that are fundamental to the regulation of posture and equilibrium. Rademaker discovered that the cerebellum is not in fact an essential part of the mechanism of any of the labyrinthine reactions--an extraordinary finding--and that the exaggeration of various reactions following removal of the cerebellum revealed its essentially modulating function. Subsequent work on primates has shown that his findings in decerebellate dogs have universal applicability.
This translation was prepared for the National Library of Medicine and the National Science Foundation. Editor D. Denny-Brown, professor of neurology, emeritus, at Harvard University, has also provided a foreword to the book. The Physiology of Standing will be of value to researchers in neurology, neurophysiology, and the special senses--those whose interests lie in motor coordination and cerebellar and labyrinthine function.

G.G.J. Rademaker was director of physiology at the Institute in Leyden.

Editor D. Denny-Brown was a Professor Emeritus of neurology at Harvard University.

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