10 Pages

Psychiatry as an Auxiliary to the Physiology of the Cerebral Hemispheres15

WithIvan P. Pavlov

The author's earlier researches on the circulation of the blood and on digestion led him to the firm conviction that the physiological mode of thinking may derive great help from the study of clinical cases, i.e., from the countless number of diverse pathological variations and combinations of the functions of the human organism. In this chapter, the author describes and analyses the symptoms observed in two patients. One was an educated, well-bred girl, twenty-two or twenty-three years old. The second patient is a man aged sixty. He spent twenty-two years of his life in hospital, lying like a living corpse, without the slightest voluntary movement and absolutely speechless. The chapter is significant not only for its deep physiological interpretation of one of the widespread and important symptoms of catatonia, the so-called flexibilitas cerea, but also because it already shows the basic features of Pavlov’s harmonious physiological hypothesis of the catatonic form of schizophrenia.