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the compound sound the two components can by a trained ear be severally heard. Now how can one resultant waveform make us hear so many sounds at once?

The analysis of compound wave-forms is supposed (after Helmholtz) to be effected through the different rates of sympathetic resonance of the different parts of the membranous cochlea. The basilar membrane is some twelve times broader at the apex of the cochlea than at the base where it begins, and is largely composed of radiating fibres which may be likened to stretched strings. Now the physical principle of sympathetic resonance says that when stretched strings are near a source of vibration those whose own rate agrees with that of the source also vibrate, the others remaining at rest. On this principle, waves of perilymph running down the scala tympani at a certain rate of frequency ought to set certain particular fibres of the basilar membrane vibrating, and ought to leave others unaffected. If then each vibrating fibre stimulated the hair-cell above it, and no others, and each such hair-cell, sending a current to the auditory brain-centre, awakened therein a specific process to which the sensation of one particular pitch was correlated, the physiological condition of our several pitchsensations would be explained. Suppose now a chord to be struck in which perhaps twenty different physical rates of vibration are found: at least twenty different hair-cells or end-organs will receive the jar; and if the power of mental discrimination be at its maximum, twenty different 'objects' of hearing, in the shape of as many distinct pitches of sound, may appear before the mind.


The rods of Corti are supposed to be dampers of the fibres of the basilar membrane, just as the malleus, incus, and stapes are dampers of the tympanic membrane, as well as transmitters of its oscillations to the inner ear. must be, in fact, an instantaneous damping of the physiological vibrations, for there are no such positive after-images, and no such blendings of rapidly successive tones, as the retina shows us in the case of light. Helmholtz's theory of

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Nerve-endings in the Skin.-"Many of the afferent skin-nerves end in connection with hair-bulbs; the fine hairs over most of the cutaneous surface, projecting from the skin, transmit any movement impressed on them, with


increased force, to the nerve-fibres at their fixed ends. Fine branches of axis-cylinders have also been described as penetrating between epidermic cells and ending there without terminal organs. In or immediately beneath the skin several peculiar forms of nerve end-organs have also been described; the conjunctiva of the they are known as (1) Touch-cells; human eya, magnified. (2) Pacinian corpuscles; (3) Tactile corpuscles; (4) End-bulbs."*


FIG. 24.-End-bulbs from

These bodies all consist essentially of granules formed of connective tissue, in which or round about which one or more sensory nerve-fibres terminate. They probably magnify impressions just as a grain of sand does in a shoe, or a crumb does in a finger of a glove.

Touch, or the Pressure Sense.-"Through the skin we get several kinds of sensation; touch proper, heat and cold, and pain; and we can with more or less accuracy localize them on the surface of the body. The interior of the mouth possesses also three sensibilities. Through touch proper we recognize pressure or traction exerted on the skin, and the force of the pressure; the softness or hardness, roughness or smoothness, of the body producing it; *Martin: op. cit.

and the form of this when not too large to be felt all over. When to learn the form of an object we move the hand over it, muscular sensations are combined with proper tactile, and such a combination of the two sensations is frequent; moreover, we rarely touch anything without at the same time getting temperature sensations; therefore pure tactile feelings are rare. From an evolution point of view, touch is probably the first distinctly differentiated sensation, and this primary position it still largely holds in our nental life." *

Objects are most important to us when in direct contact. The chief function of our eyes and ears is to enable us to prepare ourselves for contact with approaching bodies, or to ward such contact off. They have accordingly been characterized as organs of anticipatory touch.


The delicacy of the tactile sense varies on different parts of the skin; it is greatest on the forehead, temples, and back of the forearm, where a weight of 2 milligr. pressing on an area of 9 sq. millim. can be felt.

“In order that the sense of touch may be excited neighboring skin-areas must be differently pressed. When the hand is immersed in a liquid, as mercury, which fits into all its inequalities and presses with practically the same weight on all neighboring immersed areas, the sense of pressure is only felt at a line along the surface, where the immersed and non-immersed parts of the skin meet.

The Localizing Power of the Skin.-"When the eyes are closed and a point of the skin is touched we can with some accuracy indicate the region stimulated; although tactile feelings are in general characters alike, they differ in something besides intensity by which we can distinguish them; some sub-sensation quality not rising definitely into prominence in consciousness must be present, comparable to the upper partials determining the timbre of a tone. The accuracy of the localizing power varies widely in different

*Martin: op. cit.

skin regions and is measured by observing the least distance which must separate two objects (as the blunted points of a pair of compasses) in order that they may be felt as two. The following table illustrates some of the differences observed:



1.1 mm.

(.04 inch)

Palm side of last phalanx of finger... 2.2 mm.

(.08 inch)

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Back of second phalanx of finger..... 11.0 mm.

(.44 inch)

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The localizing power is a little more acute across the long axis of a limb than in it; and is better when the pressure is only strong enough to just cause a distinct tactile sensa

tion than when it is more powerful;

it is also very readily and rapidly improvable by practice." It seems to be naturally delicate in proportion as the skin which possesses it covers a more movable part of the body.

"It might be thought that this localizing power depended directly on nerve-distribution; that each touch-nerve had connection with a special brain-centre at one end (the excitation of which caused a sensation with a characteristic local sign), and at the other end was distributed over a certain skin-area, and that the larger this area the farther apart might two points be and still give rise to only one sensation. If this were so, however, the peripheral tactile areas (each being determined by the

FIG. 25.

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