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Unformatted text preview: ws, but who finds no internal
reproach when he takes a bribe or perjures himself about a criminal. What we call a code is really a localized
conscience, and there are many men whose consciences do not permit seduction of the virgin but who are
quite easy in mind about an intrigue with a married woman. So, too, you may be as wily as you please in
business but find cheating at cards base and unthinkable. Conscience in the abstract may be a divine entity,
but in the realities of everyday life it is a medley of motives, purposes and teachings, varying from the
grotesque and mischief-working to the sublime and splendid. CHAPTER III.
MEMORY AND HABIT
There are two qualities of nervous tissues (possibly of all living tissue) that are basic in all nervous and mental
processes. They are dependent upon the modificability of nerve cells and fibers by stimuli, e. g., a light
flashing through the pupil and passing along the optical tracts to the occipital cortex produces changes which
constitute the basis of visual memory. Experience modifies nervous tissue in definite manner, and
SOMETHING remembers. Who remembers? Who is conscious? Believe what you please about that, call it
ego, soul, call it consciousness dipped out of a cosmic consciousness; and I have no quarrel with you.
Memory has its mechanics, in the association of ideas, which preoccupied the early English psychologists and
philosophers; it is the basis of thought and also of action, and it is a prime mystery. We know its pathology,
we think that memories for speech have loci in the brain, the so-called motor memories in Broca's area. We
know that a hemorrhage in these areas or in the fibers passing from them, or a tumor pressing on them may
destroy or temporarily abolish these memories, so that a man may KNOW what he wishes to say, understand
speech and be unable to say it, though he may write it (motor aphasia). In sensory aphasia the defect is a loss
of the capacity to understand spoken speech, though the patient may be able to say what he himsel...
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- Spring '11