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CHAPTER III The Other-one's Reactions Are Either Concerted Or Local The purpose of a reflex is to insure that the action take place in a certain locality when the stimulation occurs in a different locality. A reflex reaction so far as hitherto considered is a local reaction,â??local in the sense of not being a general reaction or a reaction in many localities of the animal's body. But local action is not always the action which benefits the animal under the circumstances of the case. Let us look for examples from the Other-One's daily life. The Other-One climbs a tree. He does that by applying two hands and two feet to the tree and its branches. Climbing without all four extremities is almost impossible. The four limbs must co-operate. That does not mean that the muscles of all the limbs must contract at exactly the same moment. But they must contract at about the same time. A contraction of one followed by a contraction of another one a minute later could not be called climbing. As we have pointed out in another connection in a previous chapter, in order to understand, to make plain, to "explain" the facts, we must simplify them as much as possible,â??in our imagination if we cannot do it actually. Is it possible, in this manner, to place all actions which are not "local" into one class and call them by one name? The title of this chapter seems to assert that this is possible. And it suggests as name the term "concerted." Even in so simple an action as hitting a table with a fist a large number of muscles are involved. The very fist is the result of the contraction of certain muscles bending the fingers. The downward motion of the fist is the result of the contraction of certain muscles producing various motor effects, chief among them the stretching of the arm in t...
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