THE EXPRESSION OF THE EMOTIONS IN MAN AND OTHER ANIMALSby@charlesdarwin

THE EXPRESSION OF THE EMOTIONS IN MAN AND OTHER ANIMALS

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The subject is treated under three Principles: the Principle of Associated Habit; the Principle of Antithesis; and the Principle of the direct action of the nervous system independent of Will and Habit. THE PRINCIPLE OF ASSOCIATED HABIT. It is notorious how powerful is the force of habit. The most complex and difficult movements can in time be performed without the least effort or consciousness. It is not positively known how it comes that habit is so efficient in facilitating complex movements; but physiologists admit that “the conducting power of the nervous fibers increases with the frequency of their excitement.” This applies to the nerves of motion and sensation, as well as to those connected with the act of thinking. That some physical change is produced in the nerve-cells or nerves which are habitually used can hardly be doubted, for otherwise it is impossible to understand how the tendency to certain acquired movements is inherited.
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