Of the Nerves Which Associate the Muscles of the Chest, in the Actions of Breathing, Speaking, and Expression. Being a Continuation of the Paper on the Structure and Functions of the Nerves. [Abstract] [abstract]

Charles Bell
1815 Abstracts of the Papers Printed in the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London  
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more » ... out Early Journal Content at http://about.jstor.org/participate--jstor/individuals/early-journal--content. JSTOR is a digital library of academic journals, books, and primary source objects. JSTOR helps people discover, use, and build upon a wide range of content through a powerful research and teaching platform, and preserves this content for future generations. JSTOR is part of ITHAKA, a not--for--profit organization that also includes Ithaka S+R and Portico. For more information about JSTOR, please contact support@jstor.org. lbelow. In front it is closed by the bodies of the vertebrae ; but in the skeleton its posterior part is imperfect, being filled up in the recent state by membrane, and protected by the ligamentum nuchae. The author then describes the appearance, on dissection, of the membranes of the spinal marrow, and of the mechanism by which its compression in the various and extensive motions of the neck is prevented; he also adverts to the exact correspondence between the extent of motion permitted, and the size and form of the canal in the human spine, and to some pathological consequences connected with such structure. Drawings of some of the cervical vertebrae in birds, with a description of their different parts, are annexed to this paper. This paper forms the continuation of that printed in the last volume of the Society's Transactions, by the same author. In tho present communication the author proceeds to show that the office of the respiratory apparatus is not confined to the changes produced upon the blood, but that the same actions are employed in subservience to other organs, and that they perform a variety of functions, as in the natural voice in articulate language, and in the expression of passion, as well as in the more familiar acts of smelling, coughing, sneezing, &c. Having established the proofs of the necessity of a number of remote parts being joined in the performance of these functions, he proceeds to show that there is a distinct class of nerves for this purpose. That these nerves depart from the same column of the spinal marrow, and diverge to all the parts of the frame, which are drawn into consent in the action of respiration. Proceeding to show the difference betwixt the calm and uniform breathing for the purposes of circulation, and the excited and more irregular actions, as in speaking, singing, coughing, and sneezing, he proves the necessity of certain powerful muscles being brought in as accessories and aids to the common muscles of respiration. He nexts shows that the respiratory nerves are entirely distributed to these accessory muscles. After tracing these nerves, and disengaging them from their intricate relation with the other nerves, he proceeds, by comparative anatomy, and by experiments, to 'show that they are respiratory nerves, and that their division cuts off the parts to which they are respectively distributed from participating in the act of respiration. He takes occasion to show that authors have attended too exclusively to the par vagum, or eighth pair of nerves, which is only the principal or central nerve of an extensive class of nerves, which