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presented for the first time and, ofthe ??? illustrations, 70 are said to be from unpublished investigations. Gellhorn's main thesis is that "the hypodialamus exerts a profound influence on the cerebral cortex as a whole." In the first part of the text he deals with experimental investigations on hypodialamic excitability, as affected by neurogenic and hormonal discharges ; the tone ofskeletal muscle; respiratory and other visceral reflexes; and the hypothalamic -cortical system and its relation to hypothalamic imbalance. In the second part he takes up the experimental foundation and clinical application of the concept ofparasympathetic and sympadietic tuning and die measurement ofhypothalamic imbalance in the intact organism, He concludes diat "any alteration in hypodialamic balance may lead to changes in [these] fundamental elements of behavior and thereby to profound disturbances ofthe personality." Further, "behavioral disturbances that accompany states of hypothalamic imbalance may be related to the quantitative and qualitativealterations that must occur in the cortico-hypothalamic and hypothalamic-cortical discharges," and "the restitution of the emotional balance through psychotherapy is probably accomplished via cortico-hypothalamic pathways." Although his scholarly caution compels him to insert "may be" and "probably," Gellhorn ably defends his thesis. It is to be regretted that Gellhorn feels that he is at the end ofhis very fruitful investigative career. Here and diere in die text are emotional undertones and expressions offaith, supported by appropriate quotations from poets and philosophers—all underlining the seriousness ofpurpose in the preparation ofthis excellent treatise. In the Preface, Gellhorn states that "neurology, when seen in its larger aspects, is charged with the task of explaining the mind." This task is still to be completed, but one can share Gellhorn's beliefthat "neurophysiologists, psychiatrists, and psychologists may be able to erect, on die basis of the experimentally founded outline given in this book, a solid structure which will increase our knowledge ofbrain functions and the physiological basis ofbehavior and may contribute to the therapy and also the prevention ofsome functional psychoses." Nathaniel Kleltman University ofChicago The Functional Organization ofthe Diencephalon. By W. R. Hess. Translated and edited by John R. Hughes. New York: Grune & Stratton, 1958. Pp. xii + 180 illustrated. $7.00. In the past the investigation of many problems of brain physiology was limited by technical difficulties. Anesthesia and restraint were necessary to penetrate the skull, and these procedures blocked some ofthe most importantfunctions ofthe brain, barring them from experimental investigation. Professor Hess developed a method of placing intracerebral electrodes under anesthesia, which enabled him to stimulate or electrocoagulate selected cerebral areas in awake and freely moving animals in order to study die evoked effects. The mediod was applied very systematically, and his brilliant discoveries won him the Nobel Prize in 1949. In the same year, Professor Hess summarized his most important findings in Das Zwischenhim, a translation of which is the subject of this review. The fundamental contributions ofProfessor Hess have sometimes been neglected in the Eng460 Book Reviews Perspectives in Biology and Medicine · Summer 1958 lish literature, perhaps because ofthe language barrier, and tins translation, which keeps a good deal ofthe original flavor, should bring the English-speaking scientist a firsthand acquaintance with Hess's work. The book is divided into three parts: "I. Autonomic Function ofthe Hypothalamus"; "II. ExtrapyramidalMotor Functions ofdieDiencephalon "; "III. Experimental Methods." The experimental results ofelectrical stimulation and electrolytic destruction are carefully discussed, profusely illustrated with photographs, and summarized in cerebral maps, which constitute a basic tool for further research. Interpretation and discussion are in great detail, die main diesis being a demonstration of the functional specificity ofvarious areas ofthe diencephalon. Emphasis is also placed on the constant play offorces acting on the central nervous system, in which equilibrium may simulate inactivity and disequilibrium may explain some pathological symptoms. The claim that brain stimulation induces not "sham" but "true" rage and the prediction ofthe great usefulness ofintracerebral electrodes in experimental psychology have been recently proved in the American literature. In the controversial subject of functional localization versus brain equipotentiality, Professor Hess strongly supports die functional specificity ofvarious areas ofthe diencephalon, the location ofwhich are precisely represented in the cerebral maps. Perhaps a word of caution should be expressed concerning the functional maps ofthe brain, in that they are...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1529-8795
Print ISSN
0031-5982
Pages
pp. 460-461
Launched on MUSE
2015-01-07
Open Access
No
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