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May 29, 1967

The Structure and Functions of the Brain

Author Affiliations

Palo Alto, Calif

JAMA. 1967;200(9):802. doi:10.1001/jama.1967.03120220104043

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Internationally-minded scientists bewail the difficulty in evaluating Russian scientific literature. Indiana University Press dissolves part of the language barrier with publication of Sarkisov's volume. The translation is satisfactory albeit occasionally stiff and cumbersome.

S. A. Sarkisov directs the Moscow Institute of Brain Research. Reviewing 30 years of research from the Institute, he deftly places this material into historical as well as phylogenetic perspective. A polemic against Pribram's concept of spontaneous receptor activity spices the introduction.

Chapters 1 and 2 provide a superb version of functional neuroanatomy and neurohistology. Pavlov considered the cortex an aggregate of analyzers, which Sarkisov describes in detail as motor, cutaneous, optic, auditory, vestibular, olfactory, taste, and interoceptive. He summarizes cytoarchitectonic (cell structure) and myeloarchitectonic (fibrous structure) studies of the cerebral cortex. There are excellent reviews of Soviet research. Sarkisov elucidates histochemical topographies of the cortex with regard to various respiratory enzymes, acetylcholine, and cholinesterase, but there