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December 5, 1925

The Physiology of Mind. An Interpretation Based on Biological, Morphological, Physical and Chemical Considerations.

JAMA. 1925;85(23):1832-1833. doi:10.1001/jama.1925.02670230064034

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The mind is a form of reaction to the stimuli of the environment. These stimuli act on the organism of the sentient world in a uniform manner predetermined by the laws of physics and chemistry. The reception of these stimuli in unicellular organisms causes reactions of a minimal variety. As the receiving and reacting organism gains in complexity, the determined reactions gain in variety. Variety is enhanced by the interposition of a transmitting, or nervous, system, which conducts the reactions of the receptor elements to the effector elements. In the oldest types and portions of the nervous system, the pathways of this transmission are fixed. They handle those situations to which the term instinctive may be applied. The tropisms of the simpler forms are clearly their reactions to the forces of the environment: reactions determined by the physical nature of the stimuli. Yet some of these reactions seem to be

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