The history of tension [contribution to] Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences volume 67, art. 10 pages 671-894 May 9, 1957. Meprobamate and other agents used in mental disturbances, consulting editor Frank M. Berger
by Huxley, Aldous
New York: the academy, 1957. Pp.675-685 of about 220p. Coated paperstock throughout, plain printed journal wraps, first edition of this conference paper. Spine panel shows a little light abrasion, back wrap a bit of light creasing near the spine. A nice copy. "This series of papers is the result of a conference on Meprobate.. held by the New York Academy of Sciences, Section of Biology and Psychology, on October 18 and 19, 1956" --Huxley in metaphysical mode, doesn't sound like he actually popped any "mepro," went to the conference for the honorarium and a chance to pontificate. We see no other contributor here (there are some forty) of good or ill repute, although Howard F. Hunt's paper, "Some effects of meprobamate on conditoned fear and emotional behavior," is unpleasant enough. Hunt first teaches rats fear: "An ordinarily neutral stimulus (usually a clicking noise) ..is presented for several minutes and is then terminated approximately simultaneously with the presentation of one or two painful shocks to the feet, delivered through the grill floor of the apparatus. After a few such pairings [of stimulii] ..the conditioned rats normally show a tense crouching or 'freezing' reaction.. and usually defecate as well" --and they tend, thereupon, to lose useful conditionings, like how to get a water "reward" by pressing a lever. [Reward?! so they're kept thirsty. C.I.A. surely tried this one out on people.] Hunt's sequence is to then give these rats MEPROBAMATE to relax 'em and see what conditionings re-emerge. Much more exciting than Huxley's noodlings. Another cataloguer notes meprobamate to have been marketed as Miltown, an early tranquilizer. (Inventory #: 115745)
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