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He would begin, for instance, by endeavoring to remove his shoes, but, after vainly trying to bring his will in subjection to his desire, would desist and turn his attention to the task of taking off his coat, with no better success. After an hour or two spent in this way, to no purpose, he would succeed, generally, in getting his clothes off, but quite often he was obliged to summon assistance. In the morning a similar experience was certain to occur. Frequently, as he told me, he would sit for half an hour with his stockings in his hands, unable to determine which one to put on first.
Legrand du Saulle' has very thoroughly described such cases under the name of “Folie du doute,” and they will subsequently engage our attention more fully.
In certain of the neuroses, notably in hysteria and insanity, this inability to exert the power of the will is a prominent feature. In the latter condition the will is often exercised against the desires and the whole system of thought of the individual, producing what is known as “morbid impulse.” In these cases, the will, as it were, breaks loose from the intellect and causes the perpetration of acts of immorality or violence. Even within the limits of mental health some persons are noted for the strength of the will, and others for its feebleness.
The influence of certain narcotics and stimulants in weakening the power of the will is a well-known fact. Among them, opium and alcohol are especially to be noted. The former, in most cases, produces its effect upon the will of the individual without in the slightest degree impairing the intellect. The latter, however, seems to have a more complex action, for it not only diminishes the will-power and places its subject under the control of others, but it prompts to the perpetration of acts of violence, the tendency to which the individual is unable to resist.
The will is also suspended in reverie, in somnambulism, and in the induced condition known as hypnotism. In this last-named state the subject's will is that of some other person; he does as he is told, and his will, and even his perceptions, are under the complete control of the operator. In the normal state of an individual the will has no power over the perceptions. He cannot, for instance, by any effort of his will, alter his perception of color or form, or change the impression which any one of the sensory organs produces in the perceptional centre.
1 “La folie du doute (avec delire du toucher),” Paris, 1875.
Like others of the mental faculties, the will-power is greatly developed by education.
While the will is certainly located in the brain, it is by no means certain that in some of the lower animals, at least, it is not also situated in the spinal cord. The acts which are witnessed in the frog after the head has been cut off, and with it, of course, the entire encephalon, are clearly volitional in character, being adapted to the end in view, and such as the animal would perform in its unmutilated state. But, while the brain is the chief, if not the only, seat of the will in man, we have no data by which we are authorized to localize it in any particular part of this organ. Probably each motor and ideational centre is, at the same time, also volitional; but even this is merely an inference.
By certain French physiologists it has been located in the pons Varolii, but without, in my opinion, sufficient warrant from facts.
An idea of the relation of the will to perception and intellect and a volitional act will be obtained from the accompanying diagram (Fig. 4), in which a is the organ of sense; b, the
nerve of transmission ; c, the perceptive ganglion; d, fibres of transmission to e, ideational ganglion; f, communicating fibres with g, volitional ganglion; h, efferent nerve communicating with i, a muscle. An image of a blow about to fall on the finger is formed on the eye, a; the image is transmitted by the optic nerve, b, to the perceptive ganglion, c, where it becomes a perception; from c it passes through the white fibres of the brain, d, to e, an ideational centre, where it becomes an idea, being comprehended, and the danger to the finger realized. At once the knowledge excites an impulse either in the ideational centre or in a contiguous one, g, through the intermediation of brain fibres, f; and this impulse—a volition-passes through the nerve h to the muscle i, and the hand is immediately withdrawn.
The mind, therefore, as before stated, is a compound force evolved by the brain-or, rather, a collection of several forces -and its elements are perception, intellect, emotion, and will. The sun, likewise, evolves a compound force, and its elements are light, heat, and actinism. One of these forces-light-is made up of several primary colors; and the intellect of man, one of the mental forces, is composed of faculties. It would be easy to pursue the analogy, but enough has been said to indicate how closely the relationship between brain and mind is that of matter and force.
It is to be regretted that the present state of cerebral anattomy and physiology is such as to prevent our making any precise localizations of the several forces and faculties which go to make up the mind. I have only ventured to do that in a single instance—the optic thalamus as a centre for perception—and even that is questioned by several eminent investigators. The evidence, however, appears to me so explicit on this point that I do not see how it is to be questioned.' Much has been done by the labors of Broca, Fritsch and Hitzig, Nothnagel, Meynert, Ferrier, and others, in the direction of the localization of brain functions, but it has been almost entirely confined to the determination of the centres for speech and for motor impulses.
Gall, Spurzheim, Combe, and others, made honest attempts to found the science of phrenology, and, if their localizations of the various faculties of the mind-perceptional, intellect
* For the evidence serving to establish the matter in question, reference is made to Magendie, “ Leçons sur le système nerveux," t. i, p. 103, et seq. ; Luys, “Recherches sur le système nerveux," pp. 198, 344, 346, Paris, 1865; Ritti, " Théorie physiologique de l'hallucination," p. 37, Paris, 1874; Fournié, “Recherches experimentales sur le fonctionnement du cerveau," Paris, 1873; also, a memoir by the writer, entitled, “ Thalamic Epilepsy," in Neurological Contributions, No. 3, p. 1, New York, 1881, in which additional facts are submitted.
ual, emotional, and volitional—had been established, we should have as complete a knowledge of psychological topography as could be desired ; but they built on insufficient data, and, as a consequence, phrenology as a science does not exist at the present time. We know, however, that the gray matter of the brain originates mental operations, and that possibly the gray matter of the spinal cord and of the sympathetic sys-! tem supplements the process, and, under certain circumstances, especially in the lower animals, may, to a considerable extent, take its place.
We know, also, that the cortical substance of the brain is of far greater importance in the evolution of mind than any other portion of the nervous system, and that it is here that experimentation and other methods of investigation have the greatest prospect of obtaining positive results. It is certainly established that the brain is not a single organ, but consists of a congeries of organs with different functions.
Owing to this fact of our ignorance of the relation existing between the faculties of the mind and the different parts of the brain, and our consequent inability to construct a positive system of cerebral physiology, it is equally beyond our power to propose a classification of the phenomena of insanity based upon morbid anatomy and pathology. We are, therefore, driven to either a psychological or a clinical arrangement, or such a combination of the two as will best serve the purposes of study, till such time as we may become so thoroughly acquainted with the anatomical structure of the brain and its physiology as will admit of a more scientific system.
GENERAL REMARKS ON THE MENTAL AND PHYSICAL CONDITIONS
INHERENT IN THE INDIVIDUAL WHICH INFLUENCE THE ACTION OF THE MIND.
In individuals whose brains are well-formed, free from structural changes, and are nourished with a due supplyneither excessive nor deficient-of healthy blood, the perception, the intellect, the emotions, and the will act in a manner which within certain limits is common to mankind in
general. Slight changes in the structure or nutrition of the brain induce corresponding changes in the mind as a whole, or in some one or more of its parts or faculties, while profound alterations are accompanied by more severe and extensive mental disturbances. As no two brains are precisely alike, so no two persons are precisely alike in their mental processes. The argument, therefore, that if the mind resulted from the brain it would be the same in each individual instance, is simply ridiculous, and is made by those who have no conception of the subject of which they write. Thus, M. Simonin,' one of the most recent of the antiphysiological psychologists, says:
“If thought is secreted or produced exclusively by a material organ, this secretion ought to have a uniform character, and ought to be always identical with itself, as are other secretions, as the gastric juice secreted by the stomach, the pancreatic juice by the pancreas, etc. How is it, therefore, that this cerebral secretion, which ought always to be identical with itself, as are the secretions of other organic materials, can produce such systems of thought, such calculations, such sublime arrangements, such speculations of the mind as are found in the works of Aristotle, Leibnitz, Lavoisier, Humboldt, Cuvier, Arago, Agassiz, etc. ?”
To this absurd question I would reply by remarking that, if M. Simonin's brain had been exactly like that of Aristotle, his thoughts would also have been exactly like Aristotle's, when evolved by like causes acting under like circumstances. But as M. Simonin's brain is certainly very different from that of the Greek philosopher, so also is the product of his brain different. And I would say, further, that M. Simonin's assumption that the gastric juice and other secretions are alike in all men is as erroneous as are most of the other views contained in his book. . No two persons ever lived in whom any one secretion possessed exactly the same composition in each, and hence it is that one man will digest with impunity things which another man's stomach instantly rejects. If M. Simonin has studied cerebral anatomy, and has ever compared two brains-and, being a psychologist whose faith is stronger than his love for facts, he probably disdains any such proofs—he has certainly discovered that there is as much dissimilarity between them as there is between any two peach-trees. How,
1" Histoire de la psychologie," etc., Paris, 1879, p. 391.