Volltext: Plethysmographic Experiments on the Vaso-Motor Nerves of the Limbs [From the Journal of Physiology, Vol. VII, Nos. 5 & 6, Offprint]

escape detection by the latter method. The plethysmograph, moreover, 
always indicates equal changes of volume by equal excursions of the 
index, whereas, by the thermometric method, the change of temperature 
caused by a given change in the cutaneous blood-vessels will vary with 
the temperature of the surrounding air. 
After some preliminary experiments on other animals it was decided 
to employ cats in this research, since adult cats vary less than dogs in 
size and other physical peculiarities, and are much more vigorous and 
tenacious of life than rabbits or other animals usually employed in 
physiological laboratories. The latter point is one of considerable im¬ 
portance in experiments extending over several hours. 
A number of trials were made to determine the best form of 
plethysmograph for this purpose, and it was finally found best to enclose 
the leg of the animal in a glass tube closed at one end and provided 
with a rubber collar at the other. A large side-opening in this tube 
could be closed by a perforated rubber stopper, through which it was 
possible to fill the tube around the leg with water of any desired 
temperature, and to connect the air-space left in the tube just below 
the stopper with a delicate Marey’s drum, which recorded the varying 
volume of the leg on smoked paper covering the surface of a slowly 
revolving cylinder. The animals were curarized and kept alive by 
artificial respiration, while the peripheric end of the divided sciatic 
nerve was stimulated by induction shocks varying in intensity and 
The pieces of apparatus employed in this research were consequently 
the following :— 
1. Artificial respiration apparatus. 
2. Plethysmographie leg-holder. 
3. Marey’s recording drum. 
4. Slowly revolving cylinder. 
5. Electrical interrupter. 
As all these instruments differ in certain details from those in com¬ 
mon use, they will be briefly described. 
Artificial Respiration Apparatus. 
This apparatus has been figured in the “ Description of the Physio¬ 
logical Laboratory, Harvard Medical School1 ”. It consists of a small 
1 Science, No. 80. 1884. 


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