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that she ran off during the battle and hid in the woods

source:qsjtime:2023-12-02 00:36:40

Of course this new movement has not been confined to Germany. Indeed, it had long had exponents elsewhere. Thus in England, a full century earlier, Dr. Hartley had championed the theory of the close and indissoluble dependence of the mind upon the brain, and formulated a famous vibration theory of association that still merits careful consideration. Then, too, in France, at the beginning of the century, there was Dr. Cabanis with his tangible, if crudely phrased, doctrine that the brain digests impressions and secretes thought as the stomach digests food and the liver secretes bile. Moreover, Herbert Spencer's Principles of Psychology, with its avowed co-ordination of mind and body and its vitalizing theory of evolution, appeared in 1855, half a decade before the work of Fechner. But these influences, though of vast educational value, were theoretical rather than demonstrative, and the fact remains that the experimental work which first attempted to gauge mental operations by physical principles was mainly done in Germany. Wundt's Physiological Psychology, with its full preliminary descriptions of the anatomy of the nervous system, gave tangible expression to the growth of the new movement in 1874; and four years later, with the opening of his laboratory of physiological psychology at the University of Leipzig, the new psychology may be said to have gained a permanent foothold and to have forced itself into official recognition. From then on its conquest of the world was but a matter of time.

that she ran off during the battle and hid in the woods

It should be noted, however, that there is one other method of strictly experimental examination of the mental field, latterly much in vogue, which had a different origin. This is the scientific investigation of the phenomena of hypnotism. This subject was rescued from the hands of charlatans, rechristened, and subjected to accurate investigation by Dr. James Braid, of Manchester, as early as 1841. But his results, after attracting momentary attention, fell from view, and, despite desultory efforts, the subject was not again accorded a general hearing from the scientific world until 1878, when Dr. Charcot took it up at the Salpetriere, in Paris, followed soon afterwards by Dr. Rudolf Heidenhain, of Breslau, and a host of other experimenters. The value of the method in the study of mental states was soon apparent. Most of Braid's experiments were repeated, and in the main his results were confirmed. His explanation of hypnotism, or artificial somnambulism, as a self-induced state, independent of any occult or supersensible influence, soon gained general credence. His belief that the initial stages are due to fatigue of nervous centres, usually from excessive stimulation, has not been supplanted, though supplemented by notions growing out of the new knowledge as to subconscious mentality in general, and the inhibitory influence of one centre over another in the central nervous mechanism.

that she ran off during the battle and hid in the woods

These studies of the psychologists and pathologists bring the relations of mind and body into sharp relief. But even more definite in this regard was the work of the brain physiologists. Chief of these, during the middle period of the century, was the man who is sometimes spoken of as the "father of brain physiology," Marie Jean Pierre Flourens, of the Jardin des Plantes of Paris, the pupil and worthy successor of Magendie. His experiments in nerve physiology were begun in the first quarter of the century, but his local experiments upon the brain itself were not culminated until about 1842. At this time the old dispute over phrenology had broken out afresh, and the studies of Flourens were aimed, in part at least, at the strictly scientific investigation of this troublesome topic.

that she ran off during the battle and hid in the woods

In the course of these studies Flourens discovered that in the medulla oblongata, the part of the brain which connects that organ with the spinal cord, there is a centre of minute size which cannot be injured in the least without causing the instant death of the animal operated upon. It may be added that it is this spot which is reached by the needle of the garroter in Spanish executions, and that the same centre also is destroyed when a criminal is "successfully" hanged, this time by the forced intrusion of a process of the second cervical vertebra. Flourens named this spot the "vital knot." Its extreme importance, as is now understood, is due to the fact that it is the centre of nerves that supply the heart; but this simple explanation, annulling the conception of a specific "life centre," was not at once apparent.

Other experiments of Flourens seemed to show that the cerebellum is the seat of the centres that co-ordinate muscular activities, and that the higher intellectual faculties are relegated to the cerebrum. But beyond this, as regards localization, experiment faltered. Negative results, as regards specific faculties, were obtained from all localized irritations of the cerebrum, and Flourens was forced to conclude that the cerebral lobe, while being undoubtedly the seat of higher intellection, performs its functions with its entire structure. This conclusion, which incidentally gave a quietus to phrenology, was accepted generally, and became the stock doctrine of cerebral physiology for a generation.

It will be seen, however, that these studies of Flourens had a double bearing. They denied localization of cerebral functions, but they demonstrated the localization of certain nervous processes in other portions of the brain. On the whole, then, they spoke positively for the principle of localization of function in the brain, for which a certain number of students contended; while their evidence against cerebral localization was only negative. There was here and there an observer who felt that this negative testimony was not conclusive. In particular, the German anatomist Meynert, who had studied the disposition of nerve tracts in the cerebrum, was led to believe that the anterior portions of the cerebrum must have motor functions in preponderance; the posterior positions, sensory functions. Somewhat similar conclusions were reached also by Dr. Hughlings-Jackson, in England, from his studies of epilepsy. But no positive evidence was forthcoming until 1861, when Dr. Paul Broca brought before the Academy of Medicine in Paris a case of brain lesion which he regarded as having most important bearings on the question of cerebral localization.

The case was that of a patient at the Bicetre, who for twenty years had been deprived of the power of speech, seemingly through loss of memory of words. In 1861 this patient died, and an autopsy revealed that a certain convolution of the left frontal lobe of his cerebrum had been totally destroyed by disease, the remainder of his brain being intact. Broca felt that this observation pointed strongly to a localization of the memory of words in a definite area of the brain. Moreover, it transpired that the case was not without precedent. As long ago as 1825 Dr. Boillard had been led, through pathological studies, to locate definitely a centre for the articulation of words in the frontal lobe, and here and there other observers had made tentatives in the same direction. Boillard had even followed the matter up with pertinacity, but the world was not ready to listen to him. Now, however, in the half-decade that followed Broca's announcements, interest rose to fever-beat, and through the efforts of Broca, Boillard, and numerous others it was proved that a veritable centre having a strange domination over the memory of articulate words has its seat in the third convolution of the frontal lobe of the cerebrum, usually in the left hemisphere. That part of the brain has since been known to the English-speaking world as the convolution of Broca, a name which, strangely enough, the discoverer's compatriots have been slow to accept.

This discovery very naturally reopened the entire subject of brain localization. It was but a short step to the inference that there must be other definite centres worth the seeking, and various observers set about searching for them. In 1867 a clew was gained by Eckhard, who, repeating a forgotten experiment by Haller and Zinn of the previous century, removed portions of the brain cortex of animals, with the result of producing convulsions. But the really vital departure was made in 1870 by the German investigators Fritsch and Hitzig, who, by stimulating definite areas of the cortex of animals with a galvanic current, produced contraction of definite sets of muscles of the opposite side of the body. These most important experiments, received at first with incredulity, were repeated and extended in 1873 by Dr. David Ferrier, of London, and soon afterwards by a small army of independent workers everywhere, prominent among whom were Franck and Pitres in France, Munck and Goltz in Germany, and Horsley and Schafer in England. The detailed results, naturally enough, were not at first all in harmony. Some observers, as Goltz, even denied the validity of the conclusions in toto. But a consensus of opinion, based on multitudes of experiments, soon placed the broad general facts for which Fritsch and Hitzig contended beyond controversy. It was found, indeed, that the cerebral centres of motor activities have not quite the finality at first ascribed to them by some observers, since it may often happen that after the destruction of a centre, with attending loss of function, there may be a gradual restoration of the lost function, proving that other centres have acquired the capacity to take the place of the one destroyed. There are limits to this capacity for substitution, however, and with this qualification the definiteness of the localization of motor functions in the cerebral cortex has become an accepted part of brain physiology.