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November 1968

Book Reviews

Arch Intern Med. 1968;122(5):461. doi:10.1001/archinte.1968.00040010461024

This is a curious book. It is printed in Great Britian by John Wright & Sons, Ltd., of Bristol, and distributed in North America by Williams & Wilkins Co.

Wilder, a clinical professor of neurology at New York Medical College, has been writing about the law of initial value for some four decades. He states the law as follows: "Given a standard stimulus and a standard period of time, the extent and direction of response of a physiological function at rest depends to a large measure on its initial (preexperimental) level. The relations are as follows: the higher the initial value, the smaller the response to function-raising, the larger the response to function-depressing stimuli. Beyond a certain medium range of initial values there is a tendency to paradoxic (reversed) responses, increasing with the extremeness of initial values." His term for the study and application of the law of initial value