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By Aleksandr R. Luria

This full-length translation of Professor Luria's booklet introduces to the English­ conversing international a massive rfile in neuropsychology, summarizing Professor Luria's past contributions to that sector for almost a 3rd of a century. it's a enormous contribution. not anything of this scope exists within the Western literature of this box, with the potential exception of Ajuriaguerra and Hecaen's publication (in French) at the cerebral cortex. Professor Luria's booklet therefore marks a different and decisive step towards the eventual coalescence of neurology and psychology, a objective to which just a couple of laboratories within the East and West were dedicated over the past a long time. The ebook is exclusive in its association. the 1st part offers with observations and interpretations about the significant syndromes of man's left cerebral hemisphere: these grievous distortions of upper features normally defined as aphasia, agnosia, and apraxia. there's additionally a close and incredible research of the syndrome of huge frontal-lobe involvement. the whole moment half the ebook is given over to a painstaking description of Professor Luria's assessments, lots of them brought by way of himself, and set out in such aspect that any one may well repeat them and therefore ascertain Professor Luria's interpretations.

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These principles, destined to play an important role in the subsequent development of neurological thinking, were enunciated by Jackson in the course of a discussion with Broca soon after the latter had published his observations. During the following decades, however, these principles were overshadowed by the successful progress of the localizationist's views, and it was not until the first quarter of the twentieth century that these ideas came to be widely accepted. It should be noted that Jackson's investigations, which were cited some 50 years after they were performed by Pick (1913), Head (1926), and Foerster (1936), were first published in summary form only in 1932 (in England) and again in 1958 (in the United States).

According to this principle, functions are localized, not in fixed centers, but in dynamic systems whose elements maintain strict differentiation and phy a highly specialized role in integrated activity. Ukhtomskii formulated his concept of a center as follows: "The center, or aggregate of central apparatuses necessary and adequate for the function, consists, in most cases, of cycles of interaction between more or less widely separated ganglion cells .... " He goes on to say: "Coordination in the time, speed, and rhythm of action, and, indeed, in the periods at which the various moments of the reaction occur creates a functionally unified 'center' from spatially different groups ....

For instance, if the initial position of the hand is changed, a simple blow with a hammer requires completely different motor innervations, sometimes even different muscles. In other words, as previously stated, the motor system is constructed according to a systematic, not a concrete, principle. Therefore, voluntary movement is least likely to be a fixed or stable "function" carried out only by efferent impulses arising from the giant pyramidal cells. The structural basis of voluntary movement is a whole system of afferent and efferent links, situated in different parts and at different levels of the central nervous system.

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