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Department of Physiology, Development and Neuroscience


Lord Edgar Adrian studied Natural Sciences at Trinity College Cambridge and held a Fellowship at Trinity College by 1913. After completing his medical degree in London, he returned to the new home of The Physiological Laboratory as a lecturer in 1919. He was the Professor of Physiology from 1937-1951. Lord Adrian recorded action potentials in response to sensory stimuli from single nerve fibres and, with Keith Lucas, described the ‘all or none’ property of the action potential.  Lord Adrian became a Fellow (1925) and later President (1950-1955) of the Royal Society and in 1951, Master of Trinity College.

At the Adrian display, you can see a replica of the experiments first performed by Lord Adrian and colleagues, showing action potentials in response to sensory stimuli. We will also look at how the ‘all or none’ property of action potentials allows them to carry information in the nervous system.

With Sir Charles Sherrington, Lord Adrian was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1932 : "for their discoveries regarding the functions of neurons".