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Franciscus Cornelis Donders (Tilburg, May 27, 1818 - Utrecht, March 24, 1889) was a Dutch ophthalmologist and medical scientist who did pioneering work on animal and vegetable heat, among many other things. He was a professor in Physiology in Utrecht from 1847 and was internationally regarded as an authority on eye diseases.
Donders also was the first to use differences in human reaction time to infer differences in cognitive processing. This concept is now one of the central tenets of cognitive psychology— while mental chronometry is not a topic in itself, it is one of the most common tools used for making inferences about processes such as learning, memory, and attention.
In 1868 he suggested the idea of what is now known as Central reation time (aka abbreviated reaction time or reduced reation time) which is the portion of reaction time left after subtracting the time taken for an impulse to travel between the sensory receptor and the brain and then from there to the muscle.
- B. Theunissen. Franciscus Cornelis Donders 1818-1889, F.C. Donders: turning refracting into science, @ History of science and scholarship in the Netherlands.
- Picture, biography, and bibliography in the Virtual Laboratory of the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science
- P. Eling, Donders, Frans (1818-1889), Geneeskundige en fysioloog.
- Edwin Maes, Professor dr. Franciscus Cornelis Donders (Tilburg 27-5-1818, Utrecht 24-3-1889) Gravesite of Franciscus Donders.
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