Reference numberAP/30/8
TitleUnpublished paper, 'The brain, the sole centre of the human nervous system' by Edwin Lee
CreatorLee; Edwin (fl 1848)
DescriptionLee explains that it has been inferred by many physiologists, from experiments made on the lower animals, that portions of the human nervous system are isolated and independent of each other; but from the circumstance that in these animals the brain is only a small appendage to the rest of the nervous system, while in the human species it is the principal portion, Lee takes an opposite view of the subject. In man, the grey matter, which is the source of the power of the brain, is largely agglomerated in that organ, but is only diffused in comparatively minute proportions throughout the other parts of the nervous apparatus, which, when detached from the central organ, speedily lose the power of exciting muscular contraction, because that power is derived exclusively from the brain, and only such a portion is retained in the grey matter of the spinal cord and the ganglia of the sympathetic as is requisite for the immediate actions of the parts which they supply with nerves. After a review of existing literature on the topic,Lee concludes that in man and the higher mammalia, the brain is the sole centre of the nervous system and the source of its power.

Annotations in ink throughout. Marked on back as 'Archives 20 July 1848 S H C [Samuel Hunter Christie]'.

Subject: Anatomy / Physiology / Neuroscience

Received 4 February 1848 / 21 March 1848 / 23 March 1848. Communicated by Samuel Solly.

Whilst the Royal Society declined to publish this paper in full, an abstract of the paper was published in volume 5 of Abstracts of the Papers Printed in the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London [later Proceedings of the Royal Society] as 'The brain the sole centre of the human nervous system'.

A version of this paper was published by Lee in The Edinburgh Medical and Surgical Journal: Lee, Edwin. 'The Brain the Sole Centre of the Human Nervous System.' The Edinburgh Medical and Surgical Journal, volume 71, number 178 (1849), pp. 60-70.
Physical descriptionInk on paper
Access statusOpen
Related materialDOI: 10.1098/rspl.1843.0153
Fellows associated with this archive
NA8363Solly; Samuel (1805 - 1871)1805 - 1871
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