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This small book, which appears also as a supplement to the Helvetica Physiol. Acta, summarizes Hess's work on diencephalic functions and is based largely on physiological stimulation experiments in the unanesthetized cat. It thereby supplements the work of American authors who under the leadership of Ranson studied this problem in anesthetized animals. Of great interest is Hess's finding that the diencephalon can be subdivided into an anterior, area which elicits largely parasympathetic reactions such as fall in blood pressure, constriction of pupil, salivary secretion, emptying of the bladder and rectum, and decrease in respiration and in a posterior sympathetic area causing rise in blood pressure, rate of heart and respiration and pupillary dilatation. These autonomic reactions are associated with changes in excitability of the somatic nervous system, which are diminished by the parasympathetic and increased by the sympathetic area. This somato-autonomic integration seems to be the chief function of the
Vegetative Funktionen und Zwischenhirn. JAMA. 1948;136(8):587. doi:10.1001/jama.1948.02890250075029