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April 24, 1897


Author Affiliations


JAMA. 1897;XXVIII(17):789-790. doi:10.1001/jama.1897.02440170023001l

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It was not without some misgivings that I thus christened this little paper, because some might regard it as a too flippant manner of approaching so scientific a subject as nerve reflexes; a subject fraught with such subtilties and as yet so suggestive of unknown quantities. Also because there may be others who can never look upon nature's phenomena as amusing, however, vagarious and unexpected they may at first appear.

While these instances of nerve reflex manifestations that I have dared to call amusing are no more wonderful than many others somewhat similar but more familiar to us all by reason of their frequent occurrence, nevertheless for this very reason, together with the particular organs involved, many of us at first can not avoid seeing the ludicrous side, however easy the scientific explanations, by analogy, may seem. Familiarity with frequent recurrences of nature's perversions does not breed contempt, but it

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