Skip to Main Content
Have library access? Log in through your library
Principles of Autonomic-Somatic Integrations

Principles of Autonomic-Somatic Integrations: Physiological Basis and Psychological and Clinical Implications

Ernst Gellhorn
Copyright Date: 1967
Edition: NED - New edition
Pages: 332
  • Cite this Item
  • Book Info
    Principles of Autonomic-Somatic Integrations
    Book Description:

    Principles of Autonomic-Somatic Integrations was first published in 1967. For a number of years Dr. Gellhorn, a professor emeritus of neurophysiology at the University of Minnesota, conducted research on various problems stemming from the need for a better understanding of the autonomic nervous system. In this book he continues his contributions on the subject, providing a significant analysis of the relationship between the autonomic and somatic systems and the implications for medicine and psychology of the principles established. The book is based on an extensive review of the international literature, of which more than 1,000 references are cited. Dr. Gellhorn points out that research in the last two decades has shown that hypothalamic and reticular mechanisms play a fundamental role in the regulation of somatic sensory and motor functions as well as visceral functions. The role of such mechanisms in functions that represent fragments of behavior has been studied in great detail, and the importance of the mechanisms in the integration of diverse systems has been emphasized. He now suggests that a few basic principles are involved in the integration of a complex maze of organs and processes and that this integration results in a coherent pattern of total behavior. In the light of these principles he provides a broad physiological interpretation of behavior and explores various clinical implications. The book will be of particular interest to physiologists, neurologists, psychiatrists, and psychologists.

    eISBN: 978-0-8166-6256-2
    Subjects: Health Sciences

Table of Contents

Export Selected Citations Export to NoodleTools Export to RefWorks Export to EasyBib Export a RIS file (For EndNote, ProCite, Reference Manager, Zotero, Mendeley...) Export a Text file (For BibTex)
  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-x)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. xi-2)
  3. Introduction
    (pp. 3-4)

    Our concept of the autonomic nervous system, based on the classical work of Gaskell (323) and Langley (611), has undergone a fundamental change in the last decades. The work of these investigators established structural and functional differences in the organization of the peripheral autonomic and somatic systems. In contrast to somatic efferent nerves, autonomic nerves involve two synaptically linked neurons. Physiological and pharmacological tests disclosed that in most instances the viscera receive two types of autonomic nerves which exert antagonistic effects on the target organs. The antagonistic effects are mediated by the parasympathetic division originating in the tectal, bulbar, and...

  4. I The Physiology of the Basic Patterns of Ergotropic and Trophotropic Reactions
    (pp. 5-39)

    Numerous investigations since Sherrington’s classic work (892) have shown that the stimulation of nociceptive nerves leads to sympathetic as well as somatic effects. The ergotropic syndrome appears as a rise in blood pressure and heart rate, dilatation of the pupil, retraction of the nictitating membranes, piloerection, and secretion of sweat. There is also an increase in the blood sugar level, provided that the adrenals are not denervated. This intense sympathetic (or sympathetico-adrenal) action is combined with withdrawal (flexor) reflexes. Similar effects are produced when the viscera are stimulated, particularly through a pull on the mesentery (709). The sympathetic effects are...

  5. II Physiological Analysis of Ergotropic and Trophotropic Imbalances; Application to Various States of Consciousness
    (pp. 40-70)

    In the first chapter it was stressed that ergotropic and trophotropic reactions do not occur at the same time. They are reciprocally related, since with the increasing activity of one system the responsiveness of the antagonistic system declines progressively. It was further shown that the autonomic-somatic downward discharges are associated with characteristic upward discharges which determine the degree of synchronization of cortical potentials. States of altered excitability of the central autonomic nervous system were found to induce parallel changes in autonomic and cortical activity. Thus, arousal is related to the activity of the ergotropic system and, particularly, to cortical desynchronization...

  6. III The Role of the Ergotropic and Trophotropic Systems in Conditioning
    (pp. 71-115)

    The concept of the ergotropic and trophotropic systems was developed by W. R. Hess (463) on the basis of stimulation experiments involving the diencephalon. The distribution of these systems throughout the brain and their general characteristics were discussed in Chapter I, and an attempt was made in Chapter II to deal with their relation to various states of consciousness. In this chapter the role of the ergotropic and trophotropic systems in conditioning will be described. The basis for this undertaking lies in the symptomatic prominence of ergotropic emotional reactions in classical conditioning experiments in which either salivary or flexor reflexes...

  7. IV The Physiology of Experimental Neurosis and of States of Anxiety
    (pp. 116-149)

    It is the task of this chapter to apply the knowledge gained from the study of c.r. to characteristic pathological deviations in the learning process and behavior which, since Pavlov’s work (771, 772, 773), have been designated as experimental neurosis. We are chiefly concerned with the ergotropic and trophotropic systems and specifically with their relations in neurotic states. Studies of the symptoms occurring in preneurotic conditions and in neurosis and of the causes leading to their development as well as of the nature of the therapeutic procedures will be utilized for this purpose. Pavlov’s great merit in having opened up...

  8. V Aspects of Reticulo-Somatic Interactions
    (pp. 150-172)

    The preceding chapters have dealt chiefly with the general characteristics of the ergotropic and trophotropic systems and their mutual relations. Thus in Chapter I the ergotropic syndrome was contrasted with the trophotropic syndrome; the existence of reciprocal relations between the two systems was derived from experiments in which the threshold of one system was determined at different levels of activity of the other system and also from the effect of diencephalic and brain stem lesions on the reactivity of these systems. Their role in the learning process was analyzed in Chapter III and interference with the principle of reciprocity was...

  9. VI Physiological Collisions and Psychological Conflicts
    (pp. 173-182)

    It was stressed in Chapters II and IV thatsimultaneousupward discharges of the trophotropic and ergotropic systems are associated with disturbances in consciousness and behavioral changes, provided that a state of high central excitation of the ergotropic system prevails (104). If this is correct the question arises: what rules govern the interaction of the ergotropic and trophotropic downward discharges? One would expect that, for example, parasympathetic and sympathetic reflexes occur all the time in different organs without interference. More interesting is the problem of determining the interaction of antagonistically acting stimuli on the same organ or system. Such studies...

  10. VII Patterns of Ergotropic Discharges
    (pp. 183-214)

    The pattern of ergotropic and trophotropic discharges described in the Introduction and illustrated in Chapters I–IV represents the basic design, but does not do justice to the variety of combinations seen in different states of excitability and under different conditions of stimulation. To survey ergotropic patterns systematically is the task of this chapter. Some notes on the trophotropic system will be added.

    By studying autonomic changes in defense reactions (rage, fight, flight), in severe hemorrhage, or exposure to cold, in insulin hypoglycemia, and during exercise, and by utilizing denervated structures as indicators of adrenomedullary secretion, Cannon (147) concluded that...

  11. VIII Internal Secretions and the Ergotropic and Trophotropic Systems
    (pp. 215-226)

    That increased ergotropic activity enhances the secretion of adrenomedullary hormones as reviewed in the preceding chapter is but one example of ergotropic-hormonal relations. The reader will remember that conditioning and other forms of stress associated with augmented ergotropic discharges were shown to cause an increased secretion of adrenocortical steroids (Chapter III). These and numerous related investigations constitute an important part of neuroendocrinology, the discussion of which is obviously beyond the scope of this book. But in order to illustrate further the dependence of internal secretions on the ergotropic and trophotropic systems and vice versa, a brief survey of the influence...

  12. IX The Role of the Neurohumors in Sleep and Arousal
    (pp. 227-243)

    The work of the last forty years has established the role of chemical transmitters in nervous action. Loewi’s classical experiment* demonstrating the liberation of acetylcholine from the endings of the vagus nerve became the foundation of the theory of neurohumoral transmission. The functional differentiation between the action of parasympathetic and sympathetic nerves is reflected in the chemical specificity of the transmitters. Parasympathetic nerves liberate acetylcholine and sympathetic nerves, with few exceptions, noradrenaline. Bearing these exceptions in mind and using Dale’s terms (185), we may say that adrenergic processes are prominent in the sympathetic and cholinergic processes in the parasympathetic system,...

  13. X Behavioral Implications
    (pp. 244-252)

    Although an effort has been made not to neglect the effects of the ergotropic and trophotropic systems on behavior, as evidenced by our emphasis on the relation between the trophotropic-ergotropic balance and the sleep-wakefulness cycle and by our discussion of conditioning and experimental neurosis, the following data will be of value in amplifying the significance of ergotropic-trophotropic relations for behavior.

    The earlier findings of Hess (463) and others showing that stimulation of the ergotropic division of the posterior hypothalamus causes rage and that activation of the trophotropic system from the septal area, anterior hypothalamus, and centrum medianum is associated with...

    (pp. 253-298)
    (pp. 299-310)
  16. INDEX
    (pp. 311-318)