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The Influences at Work in Producing the Cerebral Convolutions

Nature volume 42, page 125 | Download Citation



DR. G. JELGERSMA, of Meerenberg, has recently published two remarkable papers,1 in which he endeavours to explain the influence which leads to the production of the convolutions on the surface of the cerebrum and cerebellum. Many theories have been advanced to account for these. Several authorities have ascribed their presence to mechanical forces operating upon the brain from without, whilst others have sought to explain them by the supposition of different degrees of growth-tension acting upon the brain-surface; but in every case these theories, when submitted to the test, have broken down, in so far that it is impossible, by means of any of them, to show how it comes about that small animals have smooth brains, and large animals convoluted brains; how, in short, we should find in the beaver—an animal remarkable for its intelligence—a cerebrum almost entirely smooth, and in the sheep—an animal, shall we say remarkable for its dullness?—a brain with a high convolutionary system. Jelgersma not only explains this, but makes the apparent discrepancy the strongest pedestal of support to his theory. Briefly put, his views are as follows:—

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  1. 1.

    " Ü ber den Bau des S ä ugethiergehirns , " Morphologisches Jahrbuch, June 1889; " Das Gehirn ohne Balkan ; ein Beitrag zur Windungstheorie, " Neurologisches Centralblatt, March 1890.

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  1. Anatomy School, Trinity College, Dublin, May 24.



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