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The Origin and Nature of Emotions


phylogenetic origin of the emotions was made manifest and the
pathologic identity of surgical and emotional shock was
established. Since 1910 my associates and I have continued our
researches through— (a) Histologic studies of all the organs and
tissues of the body; (b) Estimation of the H-ion concentration of
the blood in the emotions of anger and fear and after the
application of many other forms of stimuli; (c) Functional tests of
the adrenals, and (d) Clinical observations.
It would seem that if the striking changes produced by fear and
anger and by physical trauma in the master organ of the body— the
brain—were due to WORK, then we should expect to find
corresponding histologic changes in other organs of the body as
well. We therefore examined every organ and tissue of the bodies
of animals which had been subjected to intense fear and anger and
to infection and to the action of foreign proteins, some animals
being killed immediately; some several hours after the immediate
effects of the stimuli had passed; some after seances of strong
emotion had been repeated several times during a week or longer.
The examination of all the tissues and organs of these animals
showed changes in three organs only, and with few exceptions in
all three of these organs—the brain, the adrenals, and the liver. The
extent of these changes is well shown by the photomicrographs
which illustrate the paper on "The Kinetic System" which is
included in this volume. This paper describes many experiments
which show that the brain, the adrenal, and the liver play together
constantly and that no one of these organs—as far at least as is
indicated by the histologic studies—can act without the co-
operation of the other two.
Another striking fact which has been experimentally established is
that the deterioration of these three organs caused by emotion, by
exertion, and by other causes is largely counteracted, if not
exclusively, during sleep. If animals exhausted by the continued
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