Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 35.djvu/407

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387
MUSCLE AND MIND.

ing. After a year's training (the detailed account of which is most instructive) he is described as having learned to help and amuse himself, and to refrain from biting himself, and from striking his friends, although the hands are still subject, at times, to involuntary movements. The sense of touch has developed to the degree of recognizing about one hundred objects by their shape and texture alone, without the aid of sight. He has also acquired consciousness of the ordinary variations of temperature of water, food, etc. He has been taught to recognize the typical geometrical forms, and to cut them out of paper. He has visited the florists daily, and learned to know and name about sixty different kinds of flowers, all fragrant, thus appealing to the brain through still another sense. This development of the special senses and of volition was accompanied by a marked decline, not only of uncontrolled movements but of outbursts of temper, which had been conspicuous.

At the end of a year's training, concentrated mainly on the hands, the special training of the eyes was begun, the history of which is given in a second paper.[1]

There was a lack of control over the movements of the eyes quite comparable to that which had existed in the case of the

PSM V35 D407 Same boy at the ages of eight and nine years.jpg
Fig. 4.—Age, Eight Years. Fig. 5.—Age, Nine Years.

hands. The boy was unable voluntarily either to hold his eyes still or to direct them toward any particular object—rapid oscillations alternating with periods of fixation upward and to one side. In the training of these refractory organs the improved hands were made to give most effective assistance. "What words can not do," says Dr. Séguin, "the hand can; viz., it can present objects to the eye at the proper distance, at the proper opportunity, and with the proper degree of insistence and pertinacity, even fol-

  1. See "Archives of Medicine," December, 1880.