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Electric and Magnetic Stimulation
of Neural Tissue

Parts VI and VII focus on the second subdivision of bioelectromagnetism, stimulation and magnetization, also called electro- and magnetobiology. The discussion of electric stimulation is also divided along anatomical lines. Part VI deals with neural tissue and Part VII with cardiac tissue.
Chapter 21 describes the electric stimulation of peripheral nervous tissue, especially in order to produce muscular activity. Therefore it is called functional electric stimulation. The electric stimulation of biological tissue is an important topic in clinical applications. This subdivision of bioelectromagnetism was also historically first applied to human subjects. Because of space considerations, we have excluded many very important clinical applications of electric stimulation. The discussion on electric stimulation of the central nervous system is not included because, theoretically, the distribution of the electric current in the brain tissue follows, according to the reciprocity theorem, the sensitivity distribution of the corresponding measurement electrodes. Similarly, other important topics, such as electric treatment of pain, are also excluded because from a theoretical point of view, they offer little that is new while the physiological/clinical goals are poorly documented.
Chapter 22 discusses the principle of magnetic stimulation and its neurological applications. At present the widest application of magnetic stimulation is the stimulation of the central nervous system.
Electromagnetic energy can be applied also to nonexcitable tissues. Such applications include, for instance, electrosurgical devices (surgical diathermy) and electrotherapeutic devices. The latter have many applications in physiotherapy. Similarly, we could also list magnetotherapeutic devices. Because these methods and devices do not raise new theoretical concerns that lie within the scope of this book, they are excluded.

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