Horsley was born in England and became one of the earliest pioneers in Neurosurgery. Early on, he worked on rabies, cretinism and myxedinn, but soon he developed an interest in research on the cerebral cortex. His studies on motor response to faradic stimulation of the cerebral cortex, internal capsule and spinal cord established him also a neurophysiologist. From 1886 and on, he entered the field of surgery of the brain and spinal cord. Together with R.H. Clarke, Horsley built a stereotaxic instrument used for the study of cerebral function. He is also remembered as a champion for medical reforms.

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