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Mitogenetic Analysis of the Excitation of the Nervous System

Nature volume 140, page 565 (02 October 1937) | Download Citation



THE outcome of Prof. A. G. Gurwitsch's latest monograph is a new 'chain reaction' theory of excitation, based, in its more concrete form, on the experimental results described in the body of the book. The peculiarity of the new theory is that it allows for the existence of many qualitatively different states of excitation, while ignoring completely the electrical, thermal and chemical phenomena studied by classical methods. The more general considerations which appear in the concluding chapter will perhaps receive better attention, and will doubtless awaken the sympathy of those who, with Gurwitsch, feel that the study of electrical changes in artificially stimulated nerve affords an inadequate basis for the comprehension of the "unlimited variability . . . and the continuity of functional states" of the nervous system. These ideas are derived from Driesch and from Gurwitsch's earlier work on the "cerebral field", and owe little to his study of mitogenetic radiation.

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