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Article
September 1932

LOCALIZATION OF AFFERENT VISCERAL IMPULSES IN THE SPINAL CORD

Author Affiliations

BOSTON

From the Thorndike Memorial Laboratory, Second and Fourth Medical Services (Harvard) of the Boston City Hospital, and the Department of Medicine, Harvard Medical School.

Arch Intern Med (Chic). 1932;50(3):470-479. doi:10.1001/archinte.1932.00150160121013
Abstract

In 1922, one of us (S. W.) and Hatcher1 located two small symmetrical areas on the floor of the fourth ventricle in cats, corresponding to the sensory nuclei of the vagus nerves. The application of unusually small amounts of certain drugs to these areas promptly induced nausea and vomiting, whereas local depression by drugs or mechanical injury abolished this response. This finding indicated that the sensory nuclei of the vagi are essential to the mechanism of vomiting, whether of central or peripheral origin. It was further shown that vomiting could be induced by peripheral stimulation of a viscus after vagotomy or by stimulation of an organ not supplied by the vagus nerve.2 These observations indicated that both the vagus and the sympathetic fibers of the autonomic nervous system carry afferent impulses to the so-called vomiting center, and that vomiting can be induced reflexly through either path. The concept

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