Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 8.djvu/395

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MISCELLANY.

the numerals, or rather of the figures symbolizing them, perhaps I am right in supposing that nothing satisfactory is known of it. In that case the following may be interesting to your readers: The first column contains the original figures, each containing

PSM V08 D395 Development of arabic numerals.jpg

as many lines as the number which It is intended to represent. The other columns show the transitions likely to result from quick writing.—W. Donisthorpe in Nature.

 

Location of Sensory Centres in the Brain.—At the recent meeting of the British Medical Association, Dr. Brunton read a paper communicated by Dr. Ferrier, entitled "Abstract of Experiments on the Brains of Monkeys, with special reference to the Localization of Sensory Centres in the Convolutions." The experiments, which were conducted by trephining and the destruction of the sensory centres by means of a red-hot wire, led to the following results, as stated by the Lancet: These centres are bilateral, so that when, for instance, one of the centres of touch was destroyed, there was loss of tactile sensibility in the corresponding half of the body. Stimulation of the centre of hearing caused the animal to prick up its ears as if it heard something, while destruction of the whole of this centre rendered the creature totally deaf. Destruction of the centre of vision corresponding to one eye only, rendered the animal temporarily blind in that eye, the function, after twenty-four hours, being carried on by the opposite centre. In the discussion which followed. Dr. Nairne pointed out that other observers had arrived at conclusions different from those of Ferrier, and that the brain of a monkey could not be taken as exactly similar to that of a man; but Dr. Brunton thought the mistake made by German and other investigators who differed from Ferrier was, that they took the brains of animals lower even than the monkey to correspond with that of man. Dr. Dupuy said that he had found, when the centres of motion on one side of the brain were removed, that paralysis followed for a short time throughout the corresponding part of the body, but that, when the centres were removed from both sides of the brain, there was no paralysis at all.

 

Health of Children in Utah.—In a report made by Surgeon E. P. Vollum to the Surgeon-General on "Some Diseases of Utah," it is stated that the adult population of that Territory is as robust as any within the limits of the United States. The children furnish two-thirds of all the deaths, most of which occur under five years of age. In Salt Lake City, as appears from the register kept by the undertakers, the male deaths exceed the female in number about 50 per cent., but Surgeon Vollum could not get the relative proportion. The polygamous children are as healthy as the monogamous, and the proportion of deaths about the same, the difference being rather in favor of the former, who are generally, in the city especially, situated more comfortably as to residence, food, air, and clothing, their parents being in easier circumstances than those in monogamy. It is perhaps still too early to form an opinion as to the influence of polygamy on the health, or constitutional or mental character of the Anglo-Saxon race in Utah; but Surgeon Vollum has been unable to detect any difference in favor either of monogamy or polygamy. So far as he can learn, polygamy in Utah furnishes no idiocy,