GENERAL CONSIDERATIONS 321
logical order, and bring about such great harm, individually and collectively. It enables us to understand, also, why all forms of 'mental' ills invariably exhibit infantile characteristics of some sort.
If we train a child with a physically undeveloped nervous system in animalistic doctrines strictly connected with a primitive-made language of wrong structure, in the pathological reversed order of responses, such semantic training must affect harmfully the still developing nervous system. So, when we say, and demonstrate, that we still copy animals in our nervous responses, we imply an undeveloped or thwarted nervous system, of which the development has been arrested or made regressive. Such a deficiency, of course, is superimposed functionally, and so structurally, upon whatever congenital deficiency there might have been in a given case. We are nearly all in a situation of this kind. We continue to be educated under animalistic conditions since we became time-binders, which, from a biological point of view, is a very recent event, and it is not rash to assume that our nervous system is still not fully developed, the more so that we submit the cortex, which in childhood is still incomplete, to injurious semantic influences. Obviously, such a fundamental human function as language, when used in a way not in correspondence with the structure of the nervous system, must act detrimentally on its development.
In congenital extreme imbecility, the cortex is poorly organized, thin, and deficient in nerve cells, and the infragranular layers show less impairment than the supragranular layers. It seems that Bolton's second supragranular layer is the last to mature, and its relative development corresponds to the relative development of an animal or human being, and, in a way, it goes parallel with the so-called 'intelligence'.
In human defectives, its deficiency corresponds with the degree of psycho-logical arrest, regression, or deterioration. Let us recall that these 'mental' deficiencies, which, in behaviour as well as in nervous structure, take us one step (or several) back toward the level of the infant, or even to that of the animal, are always connected with infantile behaviour in adults, and semantic disturbances.
Nervous as well as muscular tissues have differentiated from the general protoplasm, and we know positively that, through training, we can enlarge or otherwise improve muscular tissues, and there is no reason to doubt that something similar can be done to nervous tissue. All education, and the establishing of any conditional or s.r, shows this, although in a rather vague way.
If, by a physiological training based on order, we can alter a nervous deficiency, as shown by behaviour, we may conclude that there are physio-