Science2 - 00058

Science2 - 00058 - Untitled vibrations in the earth; the...

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Untitled vibrations in the earth; the message travels down a sensory nerve-fibre from each of the stimulated cells and enters the nerve-cord. The sensory fibres come into vital connection with branches of intermediary, associative, or communicating cells, which are likewise connected with motor nerve-cells. To these the message is thus shunted. From the motor nerve-cells an impulse or command travels by motor nerve-fibres, one from each cell, to the muscles, which contract. If this took as long to happen as it takes to describe, even in outline, it would not be of much use to the earthworm. But the motor answer follows the sensory stimulus almost instantaneously. The great advantage of establishing or enregistering these reflex chains is that the answers are practically ready-made or inborn, not requiring to be learned. It is not necessary that the brain should be stimulated if there is a brain; nor does the animal will to act, though in certain cases it may by means of higher controlling nerve-centres keep the natural reflex response from being
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