The book contains the eighth in a series of lectures in honor of Sir Charles Sherrington, the father of modern neurophysiology. Dr. Denny-Brown, former associate of Sherrington, has long been in the forefront of neurophysiologic research as well as clinical neurology, and is well chosen to join the distinguished list of Sherrington lecturers.
As a clinical observer, he has been concerned with the applications of Sherringtonian physiology to both normal motor function and such aberrations as tremor, dystonia, and spasticity. Reflex activity and its integration and control by suprasegmental influences was the subject of much of Sherrington's research, but the application of this material, so beautifully demonstrated in the experimental animal, to human function is exceedingly difficult. Observations on humans, on the other hand, are hampered by numerous uncontrollable variables, and in both human and animal work, the problem of distinguishing positive from negative effects of brain lesions confuses the