from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. Wave-motion in a nerve, transmitting nerve-commotion in a manner analogous to the progress of a water wave. Compare brain-wave.
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My friend was nonplussed, but what had happened was this: on my first speaking the impulse of the voice had fallen upon his ear and started a nerve-wave which had struggled up as far as the lower apparatus at the base of the brain, and, passing through this, had probably even reached the higher nerve-centres in the surface of the cerebrum, near to which consciousness resides, but not in sufficient force to arouse consciousness.
It does not perceive the nerve-wave which sets it in motion, it knows nothing of its peculiarities, of its trajectory, or the length of its course.
In this sense it may be said that it is in no degree an anatomist; it has no idea of all the peculiarities of the nerve-wave which form part of its cerebral history from the moment when these peculiarities are out of relation with the properties of external objects.
The question of the "How" consists in explaining that the consciousness, directly aroused by a nerve-wave, does not perceive this undulation, but in its stead the external object.