The most important of this investigation has been the completion of various improvements in the construction and use of the plethysmograph, by means of which numerous errors attending the use of the instrument have been eliminated.
The results of the work show that all olfactory sensations, so far as they produce any effect through the vasomotor system, tend to diminish the volume of the arm, and therefore presumably cause a congestion of the brain. Whenever the stimulation occassions an increase in the volume of the arm, as sometimes happens, it seems to be due to acceleration of the heart rate, which, of course, tends also to increase the supply of blood to the brain. The of odours varies in extent with different individuals, and with the same individual at different times. It was most marked in subjects sensitive to odours. Irritant vapours, such as formic acid, have a marked effect in the same direction—that is, they cause a strong diminution in the volume of the arm. The experiments give no support to the view that pleasant sensations are accompanied by a diminution of the
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blood supply to the brain and unpleasant sensations by the reverse efeect. In all my experiments mental work caused a marked and prolonged diminution in the volume of the arm. This vasomotor effect was sometimes preceded by a transitory increase in the volume of the arm caused by acceleration of heart rate.