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currents run through it, is both. All the currents probably have feelings going with them, and sooner or later bring movements about. In one aspect, then, every centre is afferent, in another efferent, even the motor cells of the spinal cord having these two aspects inseparably conjoined. Marique, and Exner and Paneth have shown that by cutting round a 'motor' centre and so separating it from the influence of the rest of the cortex, the same disorders are produced as by cutting it out, so that it is really just what I called it, only the funnel through which the stream of innervation, starting from elsewhere, escapes; consciousness accompanying the stream, and being mainly of things seen if the stream is strongest occipitally, of things heard if it is strongest temporally, of things felt, etc., if the stream occupies most intensely the motor zone.' It seems to me that some broad and vague formulation like this is as much as we can safely venture on in the present state of science— so much at least is not likely to be overturned. But it is obvious how little this tells us of the detail of what goes on in the brain when a certain thought is before the mind. The general forms of relation perceived between things, as their identities, likenesses, or contrasts; the forms of the consciousness itself, as effortless or perplexed, attentive or inattentive, pleasant or disagreeable; the phenomena of interest and selection, etc., etc., are all lumped together as effects correlated with the currents that connect one centre with another. Nothing can be more vague than such a formula. Moreover certain portions of the brain, as the lower frontal lobes, escape formulational together. Their destruction gives rise to no local trouble of either motion or sensibility in dogs, and in monkeys neither stimulation. nor excision of these lobes produces any symptoms whatever. One monkey of Horsley and Schaefer's was as tame, and did certain tricks as well, after as before the operation. It is in short obvious that our knowledge of our mental states infinitely exceeds our knowledge of their concomitant cerebral conditions. Without introspective analysis of

the mental elements of speech, the doctrine of Aphasia, for instance, which is the most brilliant jewel in Physiology, would have been utterly impossible. Our assumption, therefore (p. 5), that mind-states are absolutely dependent on brain-conditions, must still be understood as a mere postulate. We may have a general faith that it must be true, but any exact insight as to how it is true lags wofully behind.

Before taking up the study of conscious states properly so called, I will in a separate chapter speak of two or three aspects of brain-function which have a general importance and which coöperate in the production of all our mental states.



The Nervous Discharge.-The word discharge is constantly used, and must be used in this book, to designate the escape of a current downwards into muscles or other internal organs. The reader must not understand the word figuratively. From the point of view of dynamics the passage of a current out of a motor cell is probably altogether analogous to the explosion of a gun. The matter of the cell is in a state of internal tension, which the incoming current resolves, tumbling the molecules into a more stable equilibrium and liberating an amount of energy which starts the current of the outgoing fibre. This current is stronger than that of the incoming fibre. When it reaches the muscle it produces an analogous disintegration of pent-up molecules and the result is a stronger effect still. Matteuci found that the work done by a muscle's contraction was 27,000 times greater than that done by the galvanic current which stimulated its motor nerve. When a frog's leg-muscle is made to contract, first directly, by stimulation of its motor nerve, and second reflexly, by stimulation of a sensory nerve, it is found that the reflex way requires a stronger current and is more tardy, but that the contraction is stronger when it does occur. These facts prove that the cells in the spinal cord through which the reflex takes place offer a resistance which has first to be overcome, but that a relatively violent outward current outwards then escapes from them. What is this but an explosive discharge on a minute scale?

Reaction-time.-The measurement of the time required for the discharge is one of the lines of experimental inves

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tigation most diligently followed of late years. Helmholtz led the way by discovering the rapidity of the outgoing current in the sciatic nerve of the frog. The methods he used were soon applied to sensory reactions, and the results caused much popular admiration when described as measurements of the velocity of thought.' The phrase 'quick as thought' had from time immemorial signified all that was wonderful and elusive of determination in the line of speed; and the way in which Science laid her doomful hand upon this mystery reminded people of the day when Franklin first eripuit cœlo fulmen,' foreshadowing the reign of a newer and colder race of gods. I may say, however, immediately, that the phrase 'velocity of thought' is misleading, for it is by no means clear in any of the cases what particular act of thought occurs during the time which is measured. What the times in question really represent is the total duration of certain reactions upon stimuli. Certain of the conditions of the reaction are prepared beforehand; they consist in the assumption of those motor and sensory tensions which we name the expectant state. Just what happens during the actual time occupied by the reaction (in other words, just what is added to the preëxistent tensions to produce the actual discharge) is not made out at present, either from the neural or from the mental point of view.

The method is essentially the same in all these investigations. A signal of some sort is communicated to the subject, and at the same instant records itself on a time-registering apparatus. The subject then makes a muscular movement of some sort, which is the 'reaction,' and which also records itself automatically. The time found to have elapsed between the two records is the total time of that reaction. The time-registering instruments are of various types. One type is that of the revolving drum covered with smoked paper, on which one electric pen traces a line which the signal breaks and the 'reaction' draws again; whilst another electric pen (connected with a rod of metal

vibrating at a known rate) traces alongside of the former line a ‘time-line' of which each undulation or link stands for a certain fraction of a second, and against which the break in the reaction-line can be measured. Compare Fig. 49, where the line is broken by the signal at the first





FIG. 49.

arrow, and continued again by the reaction at the second. The machine most often used is Hipp's chronoscopic clock. The hands are placed at zero, the signal starts them (by an electric connection), and the reaction stops them. The duration of their movement, down to 1000ths of a second, is then read off from the dial-plates.

Simple Reactions. It is found that the reaction-time differs in the same person according to the direction of his expectant attention. If he thinks as little as possible of the movement which he is to make, and concentrates his mind upon the signal to be received, it is longer; if, on the contrary, he bends his mind exclusively upon the muscular response, it is shorter. Lange, who first noticed this fact when working in Wundt's laboratory, found his own 'muscular reaction-time to average 0.123, whilst his 'sensorial' reaction-time averaged as much as 0.230. It is obvious that experiments, to have any comparative value, must always be made according to the muscular' method, which reduces the figure to its minimum and makes it more constant. In general it lies between one and two tenths of a second. It seems to me that under these circumstances the reaction is essentially a reflex act. The preliminary making-ready of the muscles for the move

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