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the origins and principles ofdemocracy and the importance offree and rigorous competition in its function. Their generalization that mental capacity tends to be adequate among peoples and races adjusted to cold and temperate climates but inadequate among those adjusted to hot climates b much less convincing than their appeal that education be structured to facilitate the growdi ofthe creative minority. DwightJ. Ingle University ofChicago Emotions and Emotional Disorders. By Ernst Gellhorn and G. N. Looebourrow. New York: Hoeber Medical Divbion, Harper & Row, 1963. Pp. xü+496. $12.00. Thb book will be important to students as well as psychologists, neurophysiologbts, clinical neurologbts, and psychiatrists and to any biologist or physician interested in the physiological basb ofemotion. The first part ofthe book deals with the physiological basb and integrative mechanisms ofemotion, then hypothalamic tests, the physiological approachtopsychologicalphenomena, theexperimentalapproachtotheproblemofemotional disorders, the neurological and emotional basis of some somatic disorders, die autonomic nervous system in mental dborders, and finally theories ofemotion and suggested research. Throughout the book the authors emphasize that feeling and acting are but different aspects ofthe same complex ofprocesses whichcomprisestheindividual.Theauthorsemphasize similarities between the effect ofactivation ofthe hypothalamus and the reticular formation, believing that the former b concerned with the largerexcitatory and inhibitory systems as well as regulation ofautonomic functions. Although the authors have not limited their review ofthe physical bases ofemotion to undisputed data and theory, thb b a lucid, scholarly book in,which the senior author can take special pride as hb "final account" ofa lifetime offruitful research on the nervous system and emotions. DwightJ. Inglb University ofChicago ThePhysical Foundations ofthe Psyche. By Charles M. FAm. Middletown, Conn.: Wesleyan University Press, 1963. Pp. xii -f- 287. $10.00. In thb book Mr. Fair attempts to account for the organization of behavior in terms of the findings ofmodern neurophysiology. That thb attempt must bejudged a failure b as much a testimonial to the difficulty ofthe subject matter as it b to the unorthodox approach adopted by the author. The book b divided info two parts. In the first, Fair outlines what he considers to be diebasic principles underlyingthe functioning of thebrain. Hbtreatment of "neocortical memory- and data-processingfunctions" bcharacteristic ofhbapproach. First,allmemory functions are asserted to belong to one oftwo broad categories—"typt" memories responsible for crude generic recognition, and "thing" memories leading to relatively pre371 eise or specific recognition. The evidence presented tojustify thb dbtinction is anecdotal. Next, it b suggested that these two categories are localized in different portions ofthe cortex. Now such assumptions would have some merit ifthey could be shown to shed light on the organization ofbehavior or on one or another ofthe diverse findings arising from the neurological clinic or from experimental ablation studies. Unfortunately, such justification b not forthcoming. Finally, Fair attempts to analyze the ways in which memory traces are set up in a given cortical sector. Here he relies on the assumption made in other theoretical treatments that the probability ofrecurrence ofa pattern ofcell-firing increases with each repetition ofthat pattern; and on the further assumption, which b probably incorrect, that ifa cell participates in one pattern ofactivity, that cell will be less useful in preserving information related to another firing pattern. He assumes further that large cells have higher firing thresholds and are less active than small cells (which precept the intense activity ofPurkinje cells ofthe cerebellum would seem to violate); he concludes, therefore, that the large cells ofthe cerebral cortex, which are most numerous in layers lile and V, may be peculiarly fit to play a role in memory-trace formation. It b perhaps needless to say that these assumptions and the conclusions based upon them are, at best, highly speculative. Thesecondpart ofthe booktakes up the functions ofthe brainstem reticular formation, the limbic system, and their relations widi one ano&er and with the cerebral cortex. Fair's general approach to the problems ofcentral integration b a sound one in that a given anatomical structure b not conceived ofas a center ofthb or that higher function, but rather as concerned with initiating and modifying the activity of other structures—the elaboration ofany function, such as consciousness, involving a synergy ofmany diffèrent neuralsystems. Any attempt to account for the functions ofdifferent systems...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1529-8795
Print ISSN
0031-5982
Pages
pp. 371-372
Launched on MUSE
2015-01-07
Open Access
No
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