Burt Green Wilder

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Burt Green Wilder (August 11, 1841 – January 21, 1925) was an American comparative anatomist, born in Boston to David and Celia Colton Wilder. He graduated at Harvard (Lawrence Scientific School), 1862; medical department, 1866). During part of the Civil War he served as surgeon of the Fifty-fifth (Negro) Massachusetts Infantry. From 1867 to his retirement in 1910 he was professor of neurology and vertebrate zoölogy at Cornell. In 1885 he was president of the American Neurological Association and in 1898 of the Association of American Anatomists. While at Cornell, WIlder began what would become the Wilder Brain Collection. His own brain was removed from his corpse and added to the collection.

Notably, the earliest known instance of the term neuron was in 1884,[1] when Wilder used the word to describe the cerebrospinal axis (also known as the Central Nervous System). The term was popularized, and given its more modern meaning, by Heinrich Waldeyer in 1891.

Among his writings are:

  • What Young People Should Know (1874)
  • Anatomical Technology (1882), with Gage
  • Physiology Practicums (second edition, 1895)


  1. ^ The Medical and Surgical Reporter. Crissy & Markley, Printers. 1896-01-01. 
Wikisource-logo.svg This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainGilman, D. C.; Thurston, H. T.; Colby, F. M., eds. (1905). "article name needed". New International Encyclopedia (1st ed.). New York: Dodd, Mead. 

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