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November 6, 1972

Limbic System Mechanisms and Autonomic Function

Author Affiliations

Vanderbilt University School of Medicine Nashville, Tenn

JAMA. 1972;222(6):709. doi:10.1001/jama.1972.03210060057028

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This volume consists of the invited formal papers and subsequent discussion from a meeting held in Toronto to consider brain and visceral interrelationships. The title is misleading: brain regions outside the limbic system are included while autonomic function is largely restricted to cardiovascular measurements, particularly blood pressure.

The contributed papers are quite variable in format, length, apparent intended audience, subject matter, and quality. Most papers are reviews but some are written in standard journal format with Methods, Results, and Discussion headings. Three separate summary statements are appended; one is three pages long, the next two pages, but the third is a 42-page statement of limbic neurophilosophy by Yakovlev. Most chapters restrict themselves to animal studies, particularly responses to electrical stimulation. Two chapters relate changes in autonomic functions to different psychologic states in normal human volunteers. The reviewer found the following contributions particularly interesting: McLean's work on visual and somatic inputs