Bauhaus-Universität Weimar

Titel:
The Cyclopaedia of Anatomy and Physiology, vol. 3: Ins-Pla
Person:
Todd, Robert Bentley
PURL:
https://digitalesammlungen.uni-weimar.de/viewer/image/lit29464/794/
722 u 
PHYSIOLOGY OF THE NERVOUS SYSTEM. 
caused giddiness, fainting, and convulsive 
movements. The patient loses sight and hear¬ 
ing of the light side, experiences acute pain 
in the course of the dorsal spine, and tingling 
in the testes, which in fifteen days were reduced 
to the size of a bean. The patient dies of 
tetanus, with loss of the functions of sight, 
hearing, and generation.* On dissection there 
was great loss of substance at the occiput, the 
medulla oblongata and upper part of the spinal 
cord were of dull white, of firmer consistence, 
and reduced in size one-fourth. The nerves 
arising from these parts were likewise wasted. 
c. A chasseur received a sabre cut, which di¬ 
vided the skin and external protuberance of the 
occipital bone, and the extensor muscles of the 
head as low down as the sixth vertebra. This 
man gets well, but Larrey states that he de¬ 
clares “ that he has been deprived of his gene¬ 
rative powers ever since that wound.” 4. Gall 
caused rabbits to be castrated, some on the 
right side and others on the left. Having had 
them killed six or eight months afterwards, he 
finds diminution of the cerebellar lobe oppo¬ 
site the removed testicle, and flattening of the 
corresponding occipital swelling. Vimont, 
however, found no diminution of the opposite 
lobe of the cerebellum in four rabbits on which 
castration had been effected on one side, and 
which had been kept eight months; but in 
four other rabbits, similarly treated, but kept 
eighteen months, a very perceptible diminution 
in the opposite lobe of the cerebellum was 
found.-j- 
The results of mutilation of the generative 
organs, as obtained by the researches of M. 
Leuret, are far from being favourable to Gall’s 
theory. M. Leuret took the weight of the 
cerebellum both absolutely, and, as compared 
with that of the cerebrum, in ten stallions, 
twelve mares, and twenty-one geldings. The 
following table shows the results of the abso¬ 
lute weights. 
Average. Highest. Lowest. 
Stallions.. 61 .. 65 56 
Mares.... 61 .. 66 58 
Geldings.. 70 .. 76 .. 64 
Thus the remarkable result is obtained, that 
castration tends to augment the weight of the 
cerebellum, and not to reduce it, as Gall and 
his followers affirm. 
What is further very remarkable in these re¬ 
searches is that the cerebrum in geldings is on 
the average less in weight than that in stallions; 
and the fact gives great confirmation to the 
results of weighing the cerebella, rendering it 
in the highest degree improbable that the excess 
of weight in the cerebellum was accidental. 
The general expression of die facts obtained 
by Leuret is this, that in horses, mutilated as 
regards the principal generative organs, the 
cerebellum is heavier than in horses and mares 
not mutilated in the generative organ ; and he 
compared twenty-one of the former with twenty- 
two of the latter. 
* I apprehend the loss of the generative function 
is not uncommon in tetanus ! 
f Quoted from Mr. Noble on the brain. 
Compare these observations with those above 
quoted from Gall by Mr. Noble, a most ardent 
phrenologist, and I think most unprejudiced 
persons will admit that in the number of ob¬ 
servations, in the exactness with which those 
observations were conducted, and in their free¬ 
dom from sources of fallacy, the researches of 
M. Leuret have greatly the advantage over 
those upon which Gall rests his conclusion. 
Yet Mr. Noble, while he unhesitatingly 
accepts the few and very feeble instances 
quoted and adopted by Gall, is at great pains 
to depreciate these observations of Leuret; first, 
because they are not sufficiently numerous; 
secondly, because Mr. Parchappe found that, 
in comparing the cerebra and cerebella of a 
certain number of mad men and women with 
those of sane men and women, a very slight 
advantage existed in favour of the former ; and, 
thirdly, because the author of the observations is 
an opponent of phrenology. 
I must say, however, upon this point, that, 
while I do not reckon myself among the op¬ 
ponents to phrenology, but rather among those 
who are auxiously looking for and desirous of 
promoting a truly scientific phrenology,* I can¬ 
not but regard the facts brought forward by 
M. Leuret as of the greatest interest and im¬ 
portance, and not to be affected by any such 
arguments as those of Mr. Noble ; nor are they 
to be met at all, save by similar weighings, in 
the same, or still better, in double the number 
of animals. 
The last point to be noticed with regard to 
Gall’s theory of the office of the cerebellum is 
that it certainly derives no support from patho¬ 
logical observations. The few cases quoted 
by Gall, in which the injury in the neighbour¬ 
hood of the cerebellum seemed to affect sexual 
instinct are far from being conclusive, for they 
might apply equally, if it were assumed that 
the seat of the instinct were in the posterior 
lobes of the cerebrum, in the medulla ob¬ 
longata, or in the spinal cord. Indeed Baron 
Larrey’s second case is much more favourable 
to the localization of the generative impulse in 
the centre of emotions, than in the cerebellum. 
For the latter organ was free from disease, 
whilst the medulla oblongata was indurated. 
And, further, the assumed connection between 
* The following passage from Dr. Holland’s valu¬ 
able “ Medical Notes and Reflections ” expresses 
so well the true position of phrenology, that I am 
glad to quote it as an excellent expression of my 
own creed .relative to this point. “ In the present 
state of our knowledge of the brain,” says Dr. Hol¬ 
land, “ and of its relation to the mental functions, 
an impartial view of phrenology requires, not that 
the doctrine should be put aside altogether, but 
that great abatement should be made of its preten¬ 
sions as a system. To say the least, it is chargeable 
with what Lord Bacon has called ‘ an over-early 
and peremptory reduction into acts and methods,’ 
and with the adoption of various conclusions not 
warranted by any sufficient evidence. But on a 
subject thus obscure in all its parts, and where our 
actual knowledge is still limited to detached facts or 
presumptions, there is enough to justify the opinion 
being kept before us, as one of the outlines to 
which future observations may apply ; not fettered, 
as they now are, by the trammels of a premature 
arrangement.” F. 517.
        

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