The Body: Controlling the Inner Man

Controlling the Inner Man

Through the cerebrospinal nervous system, the mind is able to dominate much of the body: how a man walks, talks, or wiggles his fingers is controllable by reason and will. But the body's glandular and visceral processes—run with sovereign independence by what scientists call the autonomic nervous system—have long been considered beyond the reach of conscious control. The only exceptions, it was thought, were bizarre and inexplicable cases, such as the Indian yogis, who can regulate their heart beat and their breathing. Now, though, experimental psychologists have...

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