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a single color or picture in a slightly shorter time than a word or letter, but take longer to name it. This is because, in the case of words and letters, the association between the idea and the name has taken place so often that the process has become automatic, whereas in the case of colors and pictures we must by a voluntary effort choose the name."
Dr. Romanes has found "astonishing differences in the maximum rate of reading which is possible to different individuals, all of whom have been accustomed to extensive reading. That is to say, the difference may amount to 4 to 1; or, otherwise stated, in a given time one individual may be able to read four times as much as another. Moreover, it appeared that there was no relationship between slowness of reading and power of assimilation; on the contrary, when all the efforts are directed to assimilating as much as possible in a given time, the rapid readers (as shown by their written notes) usually give a better account of the portions of the paragraph which have been compassed by the slow readers than the latter are able to give; and the most rapid reader I have found is also the best at assimilating. I should further say," Dr. R. continues, "that there is no relationship between rapidity of perception as thus tested and intellectual activity as tested by the general results of intellectual work; for I have tried the experiment with several highly distinguished men in science and literature, most of whom I found to be slow readers."
The degree of concentration of the attention has much to do with determining the reaction-time. Anything which baffles or distracts us beforehand, or startles us in the signal, makes the time proportionally long.
The Summation of Stimuli.-Throughout the nerve-centres it is a law that a stimulus which would be inadequate by itself to excite a nerve-centre to effective discharge may, by acting with one or more other stimuli (equally ineffectual by themselves alone) bring the discharge about.
The natural way to consider this is as a summation of tensions which at last overcome a resistance. The first of them produce a latent excitement' or a 'heightened irritability-the phrase is immaterial so far as practical consequences go;-the last is the straw which breaks the camel's back.
This is proved by many physiological experiments which cannot here be detailed; but outside of the laboratory we constantly apply the law of summation in our practical appeals. If a car-horse balks, the final way of starting him is by applying a number of customary incitements at once. If the driver uses reins and voice, if one bystander pulls at his head, another lashes his hind-quarters, the conductor rings the bell, and the dismounted passengers shove the car, all at the same moment, his obstinacy generally yields, and he goes on his way rejoicing. If we are striving to remember a lost name or fact, we think of as many cues' as possible, so that by their joint action they may recall what no one of them can recall alone. The sight of a dead prey will often not stimulate a beast to pursuit, but if the sight of movement be added to that of form, pursuit occurs. "Brücke noted that his brainless hen which made no attempt to peck at the grain under her very eyes, began pecking if the grain were thrown on the ground with force, so as to produce a rattling sound." "Dr. Allen Thomson hatched out some chickens on a carpet, where he kept them for several days. They showed no inclination to scrape, but when Dr. Thomson sprinkled a little gravel on the carpet, . . . the chickens immediately began their scraping movements." A strange person, and darkness, are both of them stimuli to fear and mistrust in dogs (and for the matter of that, in men). Neither circumstance alone may awaken outward manifestations, but together, i.e. when the strange man is met in the dark, the dog will be excited to violent defiStreet hawkers well know the efficacy of summation, for they arrange themselves in a line on the sidewalk, and
the passer often buys from the last one of them, through the effect of the reiterated solicitation, what he refused to buy from the first in the row.
Cerebral Blood-supply.-All parts of the cortex, when electrically excited, produce alterations both of respiration and circulation. The blood-pressure somewhat rises, as a rule, all over the body, no matter where the cortical irritation is applied, though the motor zone is the most sensitive region for the purpose. Slowing and quickening of the heart are also observed. Mosso, using his plethysmograph' as an indicator, discovered that the blood-supply to the arms diminished during intellectual activity, and found furthermore that the arterial tension (as shown by the sphygmograph) was increased in these members (see Fig. 50). So
FIG. 50.-Sphygmographic pulse-tracing. A, during intellectual repose; B, during intellectual activity.
slight an emotion as that produced by the entrance of Professor Ludwig into the laboratory was instantly followed by a shrinkage of the arms. The brain itself is an excessively vascular organ, a sponge full of blood, in fact; and another of Mosso's inventions showed that when less blood went to the legs, more went to the head. The subject to be observed lay on a delicately balanced table which could tip downward either at the head or at the foot if the weight of either end were increased. The moment emotional or intellectual activity began in the subject, down went the head-end, in consequence of the redistribution of blood in his system. But the best proof of the immediate afflux of blood to the brain during mental activity is due to Mosso's observations on three persons whose brain had been laid bare by lesion of the skull.
By means of apparatus described in his book, this physiologist was enabled to let the brain-pulse record itself directly by a tracing. The intra-cranial blood-pressure rose immediately whenever the subject was spoken to, or when he began to think actively, as in solving a problem in mental arithmetic. Mosso gives in his work a large number of reproductions of tracings which show the instantaneity of the change of blood-supply, whenever the mental activity was quickened by any cause whatever, intellectual or emotional. He relates of his female subject that one day whilst tracing her brain-pulse he observed a sudden rise with no apparent outer or inner cause. She however confessed to him afterwards that at that moment she had caught sight of a skull on top of a piece of furniture in the room, and that this had given her a slight emotion.
Cerebral Thermometry.-Brain-activity seems accompanied by a local disengagement of heat. The earliest careful work in this direction was by Dr. J. S. Lombard in 1867. He noted the changes in delicate thermometers and electric piles placed against the scalp in human beings, and found that any intellectual effort, such as computing, composing, reciting poetry silently or aloud, and especially that emotional excitement such as an angry fit, caused a general rise of temperature, which rarely exceeded a degree Fahrenheit. In 1870 the indefatigable Schiff took up the subject, experimenting on live dogs and chickens by plunging thermo-electric needles into the substance of their brain. After habituation was established, he tested the animals with various sensations, tactile, optic, olfactory. and auditory. He found very regularly an abrupt alteration of the intra-cerebral temperature. When, for instance, he presented an empty roll of paper to the nose of his dog. as it lay motionless, there was a small deflection, but when a piece of meat was in the paper the deflection was much greater. Schiff concluded from these and other experiments that sensorial activity heats the brain-tissue, but he did not try to localize the increment of heat beyond finding
that it was in both hemispheres, whatever might be the sensation applied. Dr. Amidon in 1880 made a farther step forward, in localizing the heat produced by voluntary muscular contractions. Applying a number of delicate surface-thermometers simultaneously against the scalp, he found that when different muscles of the body were made to contract vigorously for ten minutes or more, different regions of the scalp rose in temperature, that the regions were well focalized, and that the rise of temperature was often considerably over a Fahrenheit degree. To a large extent these regions correspond to the centres for the same movements assigned by Ferrier and others on other grounds; only they cover more of the skull.
Phosphorus and Thought.-Considering the large amount of popular nonsense which passes current on this subject I may be pardoned for a brief mention of it here. Ohne Phosphor, kein Gedanke,' was a noted war-cry of the 'materialists' during the excitement on that subject which filled Germany in the '60s. The brain, like every other organ of the body, contains phosphorus, and a score of other chemicals besides. Why the phosphorus should be picked out as its essence, no one knows. It would be equally true to say, 'Ohne Wasser, kein Gedanke,' or 'Ohne Kochsalz, kein Gedanke'; for thought would stop as quickly if the brain should dry up or lose its NaCl as if it lost its phosphorus. In America the phosphorus-delusion has twined itself round a saying quoted (rightly or wrongly) from Professor L. Agassiz, to the effect that fishermen are more intelligent than farmers because they eat so much fish, which contains so much phosphorus. All the alleged facts may be doubted.
The only straight way to ascertain the importance of phosphorus to thought would be to find whether more is excreted by the brain during mental activity than during rest. Unfortunately we cannot do this directly, but can only gauge the amount of PO, in the urine, and this procedure has been adopted by a variety of observers, some of