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Jan Evangelista Purkinje: (1787-1869) Physiologist

Jan Purkinje was born on December 17, 1787 in Libochovice, Bohemia (Czech Republic).  He studied at the University of Prague in 1819 and graduated with a degree in medicine.  As a professor of physiology at the University of Prague, he discovered what later came to be known as the Purkinje effect- that colors at the "cool" end of the spectrum lose their brightness less rapidly than those at the "warm" end.

In 1837, Perkinje discovered large branching cells in the cortex of the cerebellum.  Today, these are known as Perkinje neurons and have been closely studied throughout the years by scientists in order to better understand the cerebellum. He went on to publish Observations and Experiments Investigating the Physiology of Senses and New Subjective Reports about Vision, which he contributed to the emergence of experimental psychology.

Purkinje died at the age of 82 on July 28, 1869.

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