Medicine: Emotional Circuits

Last week Dr. James Weneeslas Papez, professor of anatomy at Cornell University, had a heavy mail. He had published in Archives of Neurology and Psychiatry a paper entitled A Proposed Mechanism of Emotion, which many experts considered to be the most coherent and logical explanation of human emotion yet devised by science. It was the first complete account, in physiological terms, of the evolution of a simple nerve impulse into a colorful, complex emotional experience. Queries and requests for reprints were coming in by dozens and scores.

In the human brain the cerebral cortex,...

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