Pagina:Scientia - Vol. IX.djvu/354

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THE ROLE OF REFLEX INHIBITION



The aspect of the workings of the nervous system with which Physiology must content itself is of necessity a partial one. Thomas Oarlyle wrote «the end of man is an action not a thought». His sentence like all aphorisms is but half-true; it presents the situation paitially because from one side only; surely thought also is action. Yet this obiter dictum states with curious fidelity the line which Physiology must of necessity follow in its study of nervous reactions. The nervous system commands other organs and through these alone do its inner workings find expression. These expressions constitute the whole practical purpose i. c. " end ,, of the nervous system. In the outcome of nervous reactions it is with these material expressions and with, no other Physiology can properly be said to deal.


1. Reflex Inhibition.


Among the organs through which the inner workings of the nervous system find expression are glands and muscles, expecially that great collection of muscles clothing and actuating the skeletal levers of the bodily frame and therefore called skeletal. So completely are these muscles subjected to