Deutsch Intern
Center for the History of Psychology

H. v. Helmholtz nerves

Measurements of the course of time of convulsionary animal muscles

At the age of only 28, Hermann Helmholtz published a paper titled
“Measurements of the course of time of convulsionary animal muscles and the propagation speed of the stimulation of nerves” at Johannes Müller’s archive for anatomy and physiology. In 1852, he completed his article under the headline:
“Measurements of the stimulation of nerves and their propagation speed.”
Both publications are important cornerstones in the history of establishing a scientific-oriented and quantifying psychology. 
Produced by the designers from in collaboration with Dr. Jost Lemmerich, the Center features a mute computer animation of Helmholtz’s experiment that can also be watched online. Firstly, we would like to thank the "Fachgruppe für Geschichte der Psychologie" within the DGPs for their financial support and secondly would we also like to acknowledge the work of the freelancer workers at, who kept the animation at moderate cost.


Animation of an experiment by Helmholtz 1850

(Copyright) Animation Rainer Moeszcke (contact:

Note: The film runs without sound because it was designed for continuous use within an exhibition showcase. It was provided to us for the internet presentation free of charge. Downloading for your own use, by whatever means, is not permitted.