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April 1933

The Sign of Babinski in Primates.

Arch NeurPsych. 1933;29(4):927-928. doi:10.1001/archneurpsyc.1933.02240100246019

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This monograph is a painstaking and fulsome account of the extensor plantar response in man and other animals. First described by Babinski in 1896, it has become one of the most important signs in clinical neurology and is recognized as a specific sign of injury of the pyramidal pathways. Temporary suppression of the higher centers, such as occurs in sleep or in Cheyne-Stokes respiration, may also cause a "positive Babinski" sign.

The description of the varieties and the phylogenesis of this sign takes up one hundred and five pages. The work is important and well done. The problem is essentially one of the primate foot. In lower mammals no analogy to the Babinski sign is found. In monkeys, only when the lower lumbar segments are completely freed from higher control is the Babinski reflex found. The baboon (chapter III) is considered phylogenetically higher than the monkeys considered in the previous

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