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Tip: To sort articles by year…

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After you perform a search, you can sort the articles by Year. This will rearrange the results of your search chronologically, displaying the earliest published articles first. This feature is useful to trace the development of a specific psychoanalytic concept through time.

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Stengel, E. (1951). Brain and Behaviour: (Induction as a Fundamental Mechanism of Neuropsychic Activity.) By N. E. Ischlondsky. (London: Henry Kimpton, 1949. Pp. 182. Price 21 s.). Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 32:257.

(1951). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 32:257

Brain and Behaviour: (Induction as a Fundamental Mechanism of Neuropsychic Activity.) By N. E. Ischlondsky. (London: Henry Kimpton, 1949. Pp. 182. Price 21 s.)

Review by:
E. Stengel

The author, who is a neuro-physiologist of the Pavlov school, understands most, if not all, of the complexities of human behaviour as manifestations of a basic physiological mechanism, i.e. induction. If a focus of excitation is produced in the central nervous system it gives rise, under certain conditions, to a focus of inhibition (negative induction) and vice versa (positive induction). The induced process may take place either during the existence of the 'primary focus' at a certain distance from it (spatial induction), or it may appear at the site of the 'primary process' following the latter (temporal induction). Brücke was the first to describe this mechanism in his treatise on physiological optics. Ewald Hering demonstrated it in his experimental studies on after-images. Reciprocal innervation and rebound phenomena (Sherrington) and increased excitability following an inhibitory process (Pavlov) are regarded as manifestations of the same mechanism. Ischlondsky illustrates induction by experiments of his own, using visual, thermal and painful sensory stimuli. He puts foreward the thesis that induction is at the root of everything that is contradictory and antithetical in human behaviour. The spitefulness and moodiness of children, the reading of forbidden books and the playing of tricks on teachers are instances of induction. The author quotes several cases from his practice which seem to him perfect examples of induction, such as that of a young woman who drank too much coffee and was miraculously cured by the advice to drink as much as she liked.

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