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June 24, 1974

Somatosensory System

Author Affiliations

University of Illinois College of Medicine Chicago


edited by Ainsley Iggo (Handbook of Sensory Physiology, vol 2), 851 pp, 240 illus, $107.50, Springer-Verlag, 1973.

JAMA. 1974;228(13):1687-1688. doi:10.1001/jama.1974.03230380055033

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In this compendium of the anatomy and physiology of the sensory system, all of the chapters written by the 25 authors of various national origins are in English. This makes available many valuable details hitherto obscured for those American researchers who lack facility in foreign languages. After initial chapters on cutaneous, joint, and tendon receptors, attention is turned to the afferent fibers in dorsal roots and their first way station in the spinal cord. Various relays are described, with particular attention to the dorsal horn where laminar organization is described by Patrick Wall, who elaborates the best extant description of the "gate theory." This is increasingly referred to by workers in the field of pain, including the acupuncturists.

The ascending pathways in the spinal cord are shown to include a relatively newly described spinocervical tract that ends in a lateral cervical nucleus, and then passes with the more traditionally described