Ludwig Mauthner

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Ludwig Mauthner (1840-1894)

Ludwig Mauthner (April 13, 1840 - October 20, 1894) was an Austrian neuroanatomist and ophthalmologist who was a native of Prague.

He studied medicine at the University of Vienna, where he received his doctorate in 1861. In 1864 he was a privatdozent of ophthalmology, later becoming a professor at the University of Innsbruck (1869). In 1877 he resigned his position at Innsbruck, afterwards returning to Vienna as a private instructor. Later he was appointed assistant director of the "Allgemeine Poliklinik", and in 1894 attained the chair of ophthalmology at Vienna.

In 1859, while still a student, Mauthner described a fibrous structure in the spinal cord of fishes that contained two large cell bodies in the animals' metencephalon. These cells were to become known as Mauthner cells, and are known to exist in amphibians as well as in fish. Mauthner cells have large-diameter axons that run down the length of the spinal cord.

Mauthner wrote numerous treatises in the field of ophthalmology, including Die sympathischen Augenleiden, a book that was translated into English in 1881 as "The sympathetic diseases of the eye".

Additional eponyms[edit]

Selected writings[edit]

  • Lehrbuch der Ophthalmoskopie, ib. 1868
  • Recherches sur la Structure du Système Nerveux, Paris 1868
  • Die Syphilitischen Erkrankungen des Auges, in Hermann von Zeissl's "Lehrbuch der Augenheilkunde", 1873
  • Die Sympathischen Augenleiden, Wiesbaden 1879
  • Die Lehre vom Glaukom ib. 1882
  • Dieœ Nuclearlähmung der Augenmuskeln ib. 1885
  • Die nicht Nuclearen Augenmuskellähmungen ib. 1886.
  • Die Lehre von den Augenmuskellähmungen ib. 1889.


  • Franz Daxecker: The Fateful Life of Prof. Ludwig Mauthner. In: Klin Mbl Augenheilk 225: S. 173-174, 2008
  • [1] Ludwig Mauthner (1840-1894): Neuroanatomist and Noted Ophthalmologist in Fin-de-Siècle Vienna
  • [2] biography @ Jewish Encyclopedia
  • Mondofacto Dictionary (definition of eponym)