It was shown recently1 in experiments on cats and rats that the autonomic nervous system participates to a larger extent in the emotional process than would be anticipated from Cannon's classic studies. According to our investigations emotional excitement and hypothalamic stimulation are characterized by a discharge over both the vagoinsulin and the sympatheticoadrenal system, with predominance of the excitation of the latter. This result was shown particularly clearly in experiments on rats, in which it was found that normal rats reacted to emotional stimuli with hyperglycemia whereas adrenalectomized rats showed hypoglycemia in response to emotional excitement. That these two effects were due to a discharge over the sympatheticoadrenal and the vagoinsulin system respectively was proved by the observation that no changes in blood sugar resulted from emotional stimuli applied to vagotomized-adrenalectomized animals.
Subsequent studies of Gellhorn, Feldman and Allen2 made it possible to assay insulin in minute quantities
GELLHORN E, FELDMAN J, ALLEN A. EFFECT OF EMOTIONAL EXCITEMENT ON THE INSULIN CONTENT OF THE BLOOD: CONTRIBUTION TO PHYSIOLOGY OF THE PSYCHOSES. Arch NeurPsych. 1942;47(2):234–244. doi:10.1001/archneurpsyc.1942.02290020050004
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