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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 18.djvu/627

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CEREBRAL LOCALIZATION.

of the brain was disorganized, without counting the multiple fractures of the skull and face. He was alone, but, in less than an hour after the accident, without help, he walked to the surgeon's, went up the steps, and related the circumstance clearly and intelligibly. He recovered, but died of epilepsy some twelve years later. His physicians and friends observed that his character and intelligence changed notably after the accident. From being intelligent and active he became capricious and unsteady, and had to retire from his post of overseer. Analogous cases to the same purpose might be cited, but we have no space. We need new facts, but those we possess strongly favor the theory of Fritsch, Hitzig, and Ferrier.

We have passed in review the experimental and clinical arguments in support of this theory; and there are others of not less importance drawn from pathological phenomena. But we have no space for their consideration.

M. Brown-Séquard has shown the greatest hostility to this theory. His chief argument is that lesions and symptoms are not coextensive. An insignificant lesion causes general trouble; a considerable lesion remains latent in the matter of symptoms. This is true, but it is the exception; whereas he ought to show that it most frequently happens. The real question is, Does the seat of a lesion signify nothing, and may we have identical symptoms with two very different lesions? And we have demonstrated that this can not occur. The facts cited in opposition to the theory of Ferrier may be embarrassing, and at present inexplicable; but such facts would be far more abundant if we admitted the theory of M. Brown-Séquard.

Again, there is the theory of Vulpian, who thinks that the stimulation of the gray cells by electricity is not possible. For motor centers he substitutes psycho-motor centers. In his view, stimulation of the convolution acts, not on the cells, but on the white fibers which proceed from them. But his mode of interpretation does not alter results, nor set aside the centers.

Goltz made a curious experiment, showing clearly the office of the centers. He took two dogs of the same species, one having the education common to all dogs, and the other some supplementary accomplishments, and among them that of giving the paw. In both dogs he removed the center which presides over the movements of the forepaw of one side—the one given by the knowing dog. They soon recovered, and could run about. Running is a reflex act, that does not require the intervention of the centers. But, while the learned dog could use his legs, and go and come, he could not give his paw. This was a superior, voluntary act, which could not be performed in the absence of the corresponding center. It is in this differentiation of the organs of voluntary activity from those of automatic activity that we find the explanation of so many singular facts which at first sight seem to contradict the theory of localization.