In the past I have considered the brain (alone, not the entire nervouse system) to be the place where all nerve responses both originated and were processed. But since a person whose neck has been broken still has behaviors while no information from the lower part of the body can be transmitted to the brain, some processing obviously takes place in the lower section of the nervous system. Although at first it may seem logical to question whether the withdrawl of the foot is due to an optical input, this is obviously not possible either because just as no information may travel up to the brain, likewise no response could be initiated from the brain to the lower limbs. So now it seems logical that motor and sensory neurons stemming from the lower part of the body are processed in the lower spinal cord.

More interesting is why the person moves his foot. Does he "feel" the pain of the pinch? Or does he move his foot simply because someone is touching him? We have discussed in class the "does he feel question", and come to the conclusion that there is no way to prove this one way or the other. But it seems that there must be either some feeling or thought process which causes the person to withdrawl his foot. I don't know if his response is a self-preservation type reaction or if he "feels" pain in a more involved way.

This example leads to other questions about the construction of the nervous system such as where are the neurons for feelings and other such intangibles located?

Nice point: visual information can't reach spinal cord just as nothing from spinal cord can reach brain. And yes, do want to know more about "feeling" and other intangibles. Will try and get to them. PG