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February 1925

AN ELECTRICAL THEORY OF NEURAL ENERGY

Author Affiliations

PHILADELPHIA

Arch NeurPsych. 1925;13(2):155-163. doi:10.1001/archneurpsyc.1925.02200080002001
Abstract

AN EXAMPLE OF THE COMPLEXITY AND RAPIDITY OF NERVOUS ACTIONS  In the "Memoirs and Letters of Sir James Paget" by Stephen Paget, one of his sons, is related a remarkable example of the complexity and rapidity of the transmission of nervous impulses. At the request of Sir James, Mademoiselle Janotha a celebrated pianist played on the piano a presto by Mendelssohn, one of the swiftest compositions known to her. The time was taken, and the number of notes was counted. Altogether she played 5,995 notes in four minutes and three seconds, rather more than twenty-four notes a second. Sir James calculated that there were at least no less than seventy-two distinct variations in the nervous impulses transmitted from the brain to the muscles in each second. He also estimated that there were at least five distinct and designed qualities in each of the seventy-two movements. In addition, there were at

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