The New International Encyclopædia/Weber, Ernst Heinrich

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WEBER, Ernst Heinrich (1795-1878). A German physiologist and anatomist, born at Wittenberg, he studied medicine at Wittenberg and Leipzig, and was appointed professor of comparative anatomy at Leipzig in 1818, professor of human anatomy in 1821, and, in addition, professor of physiology in 1840. His principal works are Anatomia Comparata Nervi Sympathici (1817); De Aure et Auditu Hominis et Animalium (1820); Wellenlehre (with his brother Wilhelm, 1825); Zusätze zur Lehre vom Bau und von der Verrichtung der Geschlechtsorgane (1846); “Der Tastsinn und das Gemeingefühl,” in Wagner's Handwörterbuch der Physiologie (vol. iii., pt. ii., 1846; also published separately, 1851); and an important collection of shorter essays and monographs, entitled Annotationes Anatomicæ et Physiologicæ (1851). Weber is well known for his discoveries in anatomy, notably that of the existence of a rudimentary uterus in male mammals, but his greater fame rests upon his pioneer work in the exploration of the sense organs. His work upon the ear and upon the cutaneous senses — pressure, temperature, and what was then called the ‘space sense’ — gave the deciding impulse to the introduction of the experimental movement into psychology. The important generalization which bears his name (see Weber's Law) was the first valid generalization in psychophysics.