The Minute Structure of the Nerve Centres

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    THE Croonian Lecture was delivered by Prof. Ramon y Cajal at the Royal Society on March 8. After giving a short historical survey of his subject and referring to the work of Kölliker, His, Van Gehuchten, Waldeyer, Edinger, Von Lenhossék, A. Sala, P. Ramon, and Retzius, Prof. Cajal proceeded to give an account of his own work, and pointed out in what particulars his results differed from those of Camilo Golgi, the originator of the silver impregnation method. Golgi had shown that the protoplasmic expansions of nerve cells terminate by free extremities in the grey matter, that the prolongations of the nerve cells give off in their course through the grey matter very fine ramifying collateral branches, and that two types of cells may be distinguished—a motor type, distinguished by an unbranched axis cylinder, which becomes continuous with a fibre in the white matter, and a sensory type, distinguished by possessing an axis cylinder which on leaving the cell divides so freely that its individuality is lost as it ramifies in the grey matter. Within the grey substance a network of fibres is formed by the terminal twigs of centripetal nerve fibres, ramifications from the network derived from sensory cells, and collaterals of protoplasmic processes of motor cells.

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