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November 1943


Author Affiliations


From the Henry Phipps Psychiatric Clinic, Johns Hopkins University.

Arch NeurPsych. 1943;50(5):590-602. doi:10.1001/archneurpsyc.1943.02290230102012

Work of the last twenty years has thrown increasing light on the function of the autonomic nervous system and the control of its activity by cerebral influences. Much of the new body of data is still incomplete and controversial. This gives one an opportunity to review the general principles of autonomic innervation and the relationship of sympathetic and parasympathetic influences.

NOMENCLATURE  The autonomic nervous system is also called the sympathetic, or involuntary, nervous system. Langley1 introduced the term autonomic, calling the two subdivisions the sympathetic and the parasympathetic. His seems the clearest means of designation. Although this nomenclature has been widely accepted, many standard textbooks still employ confusing terminology. Thus, Ranson2 has a chapter devoted to the sympathetic nervous system. Under a subheading he stated:For many reasons it is convenient to have a name which will designate the sum total of all general visceral neurones, both preganglionic