340 BLUSHING. CHAP. XIII. When we direct our whole attention to any one sense, its acttt'eness is increased;40 and the continued habit of close attention, as with blind people to that of hearing, and with the blind and deaf to that of touch, appears to improve the sense in question permanently. There is, also, some reason to believe, judging from the capacities of different races of man, that the effects are inherited. Turning to ordinary sensations, it is well known that pain is increased by attending to it; and Sir B. Brodie goes so far as to believe that pain may be felt in any part of the body to which attention is closely drawn.41 Sir H. Holland also remarks thai we become not only conscious of the existence of a part subjected to concentrated attention, but we experience in it various odd sensations, as of weight, heat, cold, tingling., or itch- ing.42 Lastly, some physiologists maintain that the mind period on any part or organ may ultimately influence its capillary circulation and nutrition. He has given me some extraordinary cases; one of these, which cannot here be related in full, refers to a married woman fifty years of age, who laboured under the firm and long-continued de- lusion that she was pregnant. When the expected period arrived, she acted precisely as if she had been really deliv- ered of a child, and seemed to suffer extreme pain, so that the perspiration broke out on her forehead. The result was that a state of things returned, continuing for three days, which had ceased during the six previous years. Mr. Braid gives, in his " Magic, Hypnotism,' &c., 1852, p. 95, and in Ms other works analogous cases, as welf as other facts showing the great influence of the will on the mammary glands, even on one breast alone. 40 Dr. Maudsley has given (' The Physiology and Pa- thology of Mind,' 2nd edit. 1868, p. 105), on good authority, some curious statements with respect to the improvement of the sense of touch by practice and attention. It is re- markable that wh^n this sense has thus been rendered more acute at any point of the body, for instance, in a finger, it is likewise improved at the corresponding point on the opposite side of the body. 41 ' The Lancet,' 1838, pp. 39-40, as quoted by Prof. Lay- cock, * Nervous Diseases of Women,' 1840, p. lib. 42 ' Chapters on Mental Physiology,' 1858, pp. 91—93.