It has been postulated that there are five levels through which autonomic reflexes may be mediated (fig. 1). The accompanying figure illustrates schematically the suggested levels, viz., (1) peripheral vascular reflexes having their center in intramural plexuses; (2) axon reflexes; (3) intrasympathetic reflexes which have their center in the ganglia of the sympathetic trunk; (4) medullary and spinal reflexes, and (5) cerebral reflexes.
Evidence for the presence of the first level consists almost entirely of the vasomotor phenomena observed by Leriche and Fontaine.1 It was noted that the blood vessels were not paralyzed after section of the sympathetic as well as the spinal nerves to a limb. The ability of the vessels to contract and dilate on the external application of heat and cold was construed as the basis for the presence of intramural centers in the arterial wall. According to the report, the vasomotor responses could not be
SCHWARTZ HG. EFFECT OF EXPERIMENTAL LESIONS OF THE CORTEX ON THE "PSYCHOGALVANIC REFLEX" IN THE CAT. Arch NeurPsych. 1937;38(2):308–320. doi:10.1001/archneurpsyc.1937.02260200080007
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