This paper is designed to be simply a suggestive presentation of the subject, not an exhaustive exposition. It is a brief rehearsal of the method employed by me in teaching physiology at the Chattanooga Medical College.
The key to the simplest explanation of the functions of the nervous system is, in my opinion, to base all nervous phenomena on the hypothesis of the existence of a specific energy peculiar to nervous tissue. It also very much simplifies the explanation to give to this energy a distinctive name and assign it a place with the natural energies. Conferring on it the dignity of a name will emphasize its importance, and it will be easier and more interesting to study its action and formulate its laws.
The rapid development of the laws of electricity, and its many practical uses are, doubtless in a great measure, due to the differentiation and naming of
DRAKE GW. THE SIMPLEST EXPLANATION OF THE FUNCTIONS OF THE NERVOUS SYSTEM.. JAMA. 1901;XXXVI(10):625-627. doi:10.1001/jama.1901.52470100017001e