March 23, 1907

The Integrative Action of the Nervous System.

JAMA. 1907;XLVIII(12):1055. doi:10.1001/jama.1907.02520380071025

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The problem discussed in these lectures is the integrative action of the nervous system in building up the complex animal organism. The unit mechanism in integration by the nervous system, according to Dr. Sherrington, is the reflex, the conception of which embraces that of at least three separable structures—an effector organ, e. g., gland cells or muscle cells; a conducting nervous path or conductor leading to that organ; an initiating organ or receptor whence the reaction starts. It is by such structures and their combination and coördination, that the multicellular organism is built up from its component parts and becomes an individual instead of a mere jumble of commensual organs. The book is therefore a study of reflex action from this special point of view; the titles of the subject treated in the simple reflex, interaction between reflexes, compound reflexes and their simultaneous and successive combinations, reflexes as adapted reactions,

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