338 BLUSHING. CHAP. XIII.
tion, it will be necessary to give a considerable body
of details, bearing more or less directly on this subject.
Several observers/3 who from their wide experience and
knowledge are eminently capable of forming a sound
judgment, are convinced that attention or consciousness
(which latter term Sir H. Holland thinks the more ex-
plicit) concentrated on almost any part of the body pro-
duces some direct physical effect on it. This applies
to the movements of the involuntary muscles, and of the
voluntary muscles when acting involuntarily.,—to the
secretion of the glands,—to the activity of the senses and
sensations,—and even to the nutrition of parts.
It is known that the involuntary movements of the
heart are affected if close attention be paid to them.
Gratiolet34 gives the case of a man, who by continually
watching and counting his own pulse, at last caused
one beat out of every six to intermit. On the other
hand, my father told me of a careful observer, who cer-
tainly had heart-disease and died from it, and who posi-
tively stated that his pulse was habitually irregular to
an extreme degree; yet to his great disappointment it
33 In England, Sir H. Holland was, I believe, the first to
consider the influence of mental attention on various parts
of the body, in his ' Medical Notes and Inflections,' 1839,
p. 64. This essay, much enlarged, was reprinted by Sir H.
Holland in his 'Chapters on Mental Physiology,'* 1858, p.
79, from which work I always quote. At nearly the same
time, as well as subsequently, Prof. Laycock discussed the
same subject: see ' Edinburgh Medical and Surgical Jour-
nal,' 1839, July, pp. 17-22. Also his ' Treatise on the Nerv-
ous Diseases of Women,' 1840, p. 110; and ' Mind and Brain,'
vol. ii. 1860, p. 327. Dr. Carpenter's views on mesmerism
have a nearly similar bearing. The great physiologist
Miiller treated (' Elements of Physiology,' Eng. translat.
vol. ii. pp, 937, 1085) of the influence of the attention on
the senses. Sir J. Paget discusses the influence of the mind
on the nutrition of parts, in his ' Lectures on Surgical Pa-
thology,' 1853, vol. i. p. 39: I quote from the 3rd edit, re-
vised by Prof. Turner, 1870, p. 28. See, also, Gratiolet, De
la Phys. pp. 283-287.
84 De la Phys. p. 283.