Volltext: The Works of Robert Whytt

any figns of life remain in the bodies of animals, or in any of their 
parts, this principle ftill continues to aCluate them. 
There are two kinds of motion from irritation obfervable in 
living animals, viz, where the mufcle or organ itfelf is flimulated ; 
and where the fiimulus only affe&s fome neighbouring or diflant 
part. The fir it (of which kind is the motion of the heart) feems 
to be owing to the foul or fendent principle as acting in the part 
moved ; but the fécond, to the foul as perceiving and a ding in 
the brain : and of this kind is the motion of fneezing from an ir¬ 
ritation of the nofe, and the contraction o.f the diaphragm in vo¬ 
miting and in a tenefmus or flrangury. In order to the firft kind 
of motions, an immediate communication with the brain is not 
abfolutely neceffary, but only fuch a fhare of the nervous power in 
the mufcle or its nerves, as may be requifite to fit its fibres for be¬ 
ing aCled upon by the foul or fendent principle. But the cafe is 
quite otherwife in the fécond ; where the motion produced is thro’ 
the intervention of the brain, and not by any ßimulus applied to 
the part moved. And hence it is, that, in an animal newly dead, 
the diaphragm is not brought into contraction by lacerating or 
pricking the inteßinum return or neck of the bladder, although the 
fibres of thefe parts themfelves may be thereby agitated with fome 
tremulous motions. In like manner, though the mufcular coat of 
the ftomach is excited into contraction fome time after the death 
of an animal by irritating it ; yet the diaphragm is not afîëCted by 
this irritation : which, however, it would have been, if the animal 
had been alive. Agreeably to this, when any of the mufcles of 
the legs of a frog are irritated fome time after cutting off its head, 
almofl all the mufcles belonging to the legs and thighs are brought 
into contraction, if the fpinal marrow be entire : but, as foon as 
it is deftroyed, although the fibres of fuch mufcles as are them¬ 
felves flimulated are affeCted with a weak tremulous motion, yet 
the neighbouring mufcles remain at perfeCt refh 
I have elfe where endeavoured to fhew, that the fuppofition of 
the foul or fentient principle’s continuing for fome time to aCtuate 
O o a the


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