The experiments described in Part IV of this paper show that in whatever manner the problem of the relation of the vagus to the accelerators is approached, whether the accelerators are stimulated during a stimulation of the vagus, or the vagus during a stimulation of the accelerators, or both are stimulated simultaneously, either for a short or for a longer period, the result is the same, viz., the effect upon the rate of the heart is determined entirely by the relative strength of the stimuli applied to the two nerves. If the stimuli are of approximately the same strength, as judged by the effect of stimulating the nerves separately, the rate of the heart is but slightly affected; if the stimulus applied to the vagus is the stronger, the heart is slowed; if it is weaker, the heart is accelerated. In all cases the result of stimulating the two nerves simultaneously is approximately the algebraic sum of the results of stimulating them separately; sometimes the inhibitory effect slightly predominates, but not more frequently than does the accelerator effect. Moreover, the two nerves may be stimulated simultaneously for a considerable period of time without either completely overcoming the effect of the other.
Thus as far as their effect upon the rate of the ventricular beat is concerned, the vagus and accelerator nerves seem to be purely antagonistic; the statement that a minimal stimulation of the one can completely overcome a maximal stimulation of the other is undoubtedly incorrect, and the hypotheses as to the mode of action of these nerves upon the heart, based upon this statement, lose their chief support.