Bell-Magendie Law

Bell-Magendie Law states that the spinal nerves’ anterior roots consist of motor fibers while the posterior roots contain sensory fibers; also, the movement of the nerve impulses is only in one direction. This process was first described by Sir Charles Bell, a British anatomist, in 1811 in his self-published pamphlet wherein he specified that the nerve fibers going out from the spinal cord’s ventral roots exhibited motor functions. Bell verified his findings with his dissections on dead animals. In 1822, Francois Magendie, a French physiologist, complemented Bell’s findings when he presented experiments on live puppies. When the spinal cords’ posterior roots were stimulated, pain was exhibited. On the other hand, when the anterior roots were stimulated, movement was exhibited. Noticeably, this experiment was criticized for its cruelty. It should be noted that these two experiments were conducted independently and that Johanness Peter Muller, a German physiologist later confirmed the Bell-Magendie law with his experiments on frogs.

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