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File:Donders, Franciscus Cornelis (1818 - 1889) cropped.JPG

Franciscus Cornelis Donders

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.

He was the one of the founders of the science of ophthalmology (with von Graefe and Helmholtz) and is primarily known for introducing prismatic and cylindrical lenses for treatment of astigmatism.

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.

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