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This textbook presents a system of biologic psychiatry. The authors are seeking the engram patterns which underlie human behavior. In the anatomic and physiologic introduction (chapter I), they state that for the functional activities of conation, consciousness, instincts, will, cognition, personality and emotions, one must recognize (a) a brain stem component, (b) a diencephalic component and (c) one or more cortical components. Thus, conation, which is defined by the authors as the tendency to move and is considered by them to be the most fundamental of all cerebral functions, depends on a motor mechanism made up of three levels of cerebral structures: (a) the periaqueductal gray matter, (b) the ventrolateral nucleus of the thalamus and (c) the precentral and postcentral rolandic area (chapter II). A lesion in the periaqueductal gray matter will render the patient devoid of desire to move.
For the complete functioning of consciousness, there exists, likewise, a
The Engrammes of Psychiatry.. Arch NeurPsych. 1947;58(5):651–652. doi:10.1001/archneurpsyc.1947.02300340122015