1950c – NERISSA Artificial Nerve – W. Grey Walter (British)

NERISSA.- A Nerve Excitation, Inhibition and Synaptic Analogue.
This demonstrates particularly the relationship between the various parameters of nervous action such as finite propagation
rate, excitation threshold, all-or-none conduction, strength-duration curves of excitability, refractory periods, Wedensky synaptic facilitation and inhibition, inhibitory escape and rebound, transmission of information by pulse interval modulation, and anomalies of " inhibition of inhibition " and " inhibition of inhibition of inhibition " during rhythmic as opposed to sustained stimulation.
Source: Machines as Models by W. Grey Walter. Summary of a paper presented at a symposium held by UFAW (The Universities Federation of Animal Welfare) at Birbeck College, London, on 8th May, 1957.
See full Nerve Cell description in pdf here.
Source: The Living Brain, W. Grey Walter.
See general article covering early nerve cells, including NERISSA. in pdf here .
Source: Electronics World, February, 1962.

Nov 28 [Vivian Walter to Edmund C. Berkeley]
“…..He [Grey] will be most interested to hear of your recent work on the Tortoises, and he is xxxx? for Mr. Warren (of the BNI) to see the transistorised tortoise which Mr. Ruchlis is working on, & I believe sending over here.
If you are interested in “Cora” [sic] ‘Neurisa’ the nerve which Grey had invented & used for lecturing he can let you have any information you require. …..”
RH Notes: 
  1. Interesting cross out of “Cora” and replaced by “Neurisa” the nerve. Holland mentions “an electric model of nerve” quoting Walter – 1953 pp 284-286. See also Hayward p631 regarding the naming of models and gender. Young’s book on Cybernetics also mentions NERISSA (Nerve Excitation, Inhibition, and Synaptic Analogue.)  – note different spelling.

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