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Sir Francis Walshe's latest volume comprises a group of his publications in neurology which have appeared recently in various journals. His approach is on both the philosophical and experimental plane. This viewpoint will particularly interest clinicians, since the author's arguments often derive from the personal conviction that clinical observation is, sui generis, a department of science. He holds firmly that clinical findings cannot be validated or invalidated through animal experimentation, although the latter may complement the former. This is particularly clear in his chapter regarding the sign of Babinski, a phenomenon sufficiently universal to interest all clinicians.
The chapter concerning the brainstem reticular function should hold particular interest for neurologists, psychologists, and those engaged in studies of cerebral function. The author rebuts the currently held view concerning the widespread effects of the reticular activating system upon cortical function. His reasoning, clear and cogent, should create some healthy doubts regarding the
Higgins DC. Further Critical Studies in Neurology and Other Essays and Addresses. JAMA. 1966;196(3):302. doi:10.1001/jama.1966.03100160152059