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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 true only for the sets ofparameters used; the functional localization would probably be different with different parameters of stimulation. Hess's mediod was originally published in 1932, and naturally some technical improvements have been made since. Of them, it could be mentioned that plastic (Teflon, etc.) today replaces oven-baked enamel as insulation for wire; electronic stimulators are more practical and versatile than mechanically interrupted direct current; stereotaxic instruments to place electrodes within the brain improve die accuracy of implantation; and multielectrode plates and needles increase the number of cerebral points diat can be explored in the surface and depth of the brain without increasing the operatory trauma. Nevertheless, the work ofProfessor Hess is the basis ofthe method used today by several experimenters and is responsible in great part for the growing interest in the use ofintracerebral electrodes in physiology and psychology, which has been extended to human patients. Some more recent literature has been added to the original bibliography ofthe German edition, increasing the value ofthe book as a basic reference. José M. R. Delgado Yale University Biochemical Contributions to Endocrinology: Experiments in Hormonal Research. By Sir Charles Dodds, M.V.O. Stanford: Stanford University Press; London: Oxford University Press, 1957. Pp. 76. $3.00. The author is director of the Courtauld Institute of Biochemistry of the Middlesex HospitalMedical SchoolinLondon. This small bookcomprises the Lane Medical Lectures he delivered in the fall of 1956 at the Stanford University School of Medicine. Professor Dodds gives a vivid, highly personal, and enjoyable review ofdie immensely important 461 contributions to endocrinology and medicine which have come from his institute during more than thirty years. Perhaps the greatest interest ofthe book lies in the reconstruction ofthe detailed intellectual process which guided each discovery. In the introductory lecture , Sir Charles remarks diat it is commonly assumed that a close relationship has always existed between dierapeutic motivation and medical discovery. In reality, the search for therapeutic agents has only recently become a significant impetus to medical research. Three lectures are devoted to the discovery and biological properties ofnon-steroidal estrogens in which the author pioneered. The account ofthe search for the synthetic estrogenic stilbenes is anexciting description ofthe progress ofthis quest. Professor Dodds portrays the anxieties which attended the realization that an immensely potent contaminant ofunknown structure was responsible for the high estrogenic potency ofanol. This finding finally culminated in the synthesis ofdiethylstilbestrol and hexestrol. One lecture deals widi the agricultural applications ofsynthetic estrogens. Here the author shows how the observation ofinfertility in Australian ewes led to the discovery ofan entirely new class ofsynthetic estrogens. The final lecture portrays the discovery by Simpson and Tait of aldosterone and the far-reaching medical importance oftheir brilliant experiments. It may be pointed out that the outstanding contributions by the author to endocrinology have all stemmed from the application ofsound chemical principles to problems of medical and physiological interest. Sir Charles summarizes his philosophy ofthe conduct ofmedical research thus: "The investigations recounted...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1529-8795
Print ISSN
0031-5982
Pages
pp. 461-462
Launched on MUSE
2015-01-07
Open Access
No
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