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Unformatted text preview: adduce facts of scientific and facts of
common knowledge. One might start with the statement that the death of the body brings about the abolition
of mind and character, but this, of course, proves nothing, since it might well be that the body was a lever for
the expression of mind and character, and with its disappearance as a functioning agent such expression was
no longer possible.
It is convenient to divide our exposition into two parts, the first the dependence upon proper brain function
and structure, and the second the dependence upon the proper health of other organs. For it is not true that
mind and character are functions of the brain alone; they are functions of the entire organism. The brain is
simply the largest and most active of the organs upon which the mental life depends; but there are minute
organs, as we shall see, upon whose activity the brain absolutely depends.
Any injury to the brain may destroy or seriously impair the mentality of the individual. This is too well known
to need detailed exposition. Yet some cases of this type are fundamental in the exquisite way they prove (if
anything can be proven) the dependence of mind upon bodily structure. CHAPTER I. 10 In some cases of fracture of the skull, a piece of bone pressing upon the brain may profoundly alter memory,
mood and character. Removal of the piece of bone restores the mind to normality. This is also true of brain
tumor of certain types, for example, frontal endotheliomata, where early removal of the growth demonstrates
first that a "physical" agent changes mind and character, and second that a "physical" agent, such as the knife
of the surgeon, may act to reestablish mentality.
In cases of hydrocephalus (or water on the brain), where there is an abnormal secretion of cerebro-spinal fluid
acting to increase the pressure on the brain, the simple expedient of withdrawing the fluid by lumbar puncture
brings about normal mental life. As the fluid again collects, the mental life bec...
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This note was uploaded on 09/26/2011 for the course PSYCHOLOGY 110 taught by Professor Kannan during the Spring '11 term at Anna University Chennai - Regional Office, Coimbatore.
- Spring '11