ArticlesSpecial Article

THE AUTONOMIC BASIS OF EMOTION

Science  27 Sep 1940:
Vol. 92, Issue 2387, pp. 288-289
DOI: 10.1126/science.92.2387.288

Abstract

(1) It is shown that hypothalamic stimulation in cats, with faradic currents eliciting the syndrome of sham rage, produces after the elimination of the sympathetico-adrenal system a hypoglycemia when the vagi are intact. After bilateral vagotomy the stimulation results in a slight and delayed rise in blood sugar.

(2) If in cats in which, due to a sectioning of the spinal cord at the sixth cervical segment, the effect of central discharges on the sympathetico-adrenal system is eliminated, a rage response is elicited by a barking dog it produces a fall in blood sugar. The sectioning of the vagi below the diaphragm abolishes this reaction.

From these experiments it is concluded that the normal emotional process as well as the sham rage reaction is characterized by a simultaneous discharge over the vago-insulin and sympathetico-adrenal system. The latter predominates in the normal animal and masks the effects on the former.