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November 1932

ACTION CURRENTS IN THE CENTRAL NERVOUS SYSTEMI. ACTION CURRENTS OF THE AUDITORY TRACTS

Author Affiliations

Commonwealth Fund Fellow in Psychiatry, Boston Psychopathic Hospital and Harvard Medical School; Assistant Professor of Physiology, Harvard Medical School BOSTON

Arch NeurPsych. 1932;28(5):1104-1116. doi:10.1001/archneurpsyc.1932.02240050140009
Abstract

The primary function of the nervous system is apparently to transmit and to integrate nerve impulses. It seems clear that in neurologic and psychiatric diseases the crux of the difficulty is a disorder of function of the central nervous system—a disordered transmission or interplay of nerve impulses. In the psychoses chiefly the higher levels seem to be implicated. It would be of great interest and of importance to have direct quantitative information as to the transmission of impulses within the central nervous system, especially in the suprasegmental structures. A method that appears to be capable of yielding such data is available1 and will be described.

This method depends on the modern neurophysiologic technic for the detection of action currents in nerves.2 When a nerve transmits an impulse, an electrical disturbance is intimately associated with it. These electrical disturbances, or action currents, can be directly detected, recorded and measured

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