Morgan tears 6 and 7.

Elaine Morgan (
Sun, 05 Nov 1995 14:25:33 GMT

-- Question 6. What is JDM playing at? He deliberately sets out, by
f=giving page numbers without relevant quotations, to give the
impression that William Frey actually believed all those stories of
weeping pets.. His personal opinion of the emotional pussy cats and
puppy dogs and lambkins was clear

"As I opened letter after letter, I began to feel that I must be one of
the few persons who had never seen animals shed emotional tears," (The
Mystery of Tears". Harper and Rowe,1985. p 144)

"I have asked several oners to provide further evidence of animals
shedding emotional teras, either by videotaping the episode or
obtaining a tesimanoy from a veterinarian or other animal expert. To
date, I have received none. When I asked several small animal
veterinarians if they had ever obserbed a dog shedding emotional teras,
they all told me they had never witnessed psychogenic tearing in anmy
animal and added that they felt all animals' tear were due to eye
irritation or inflammation" (Ibid, p146)

"I agree with Montague's view that psychic weeping is not known to occur
as a normal function in any animal other than man." (Ibid p 147)

Phil Nicholls weaves and dodge more elegantly. He says this phenomenon
is "hardly a key question". What constitutes a key question?
Presumably one you think have the glimmering of an answer to.
He says there is no reason to believe that psychogenic tears are
anything but a recent innovation. There is no reason not to either.
And in any case so what? The fact that it was recent would not mean it
required no explanation.

Foe "unwillingness to leap to conclusions" read: "Haven't got a clue".

Question 7. Are psychic tears really different?

Yes. Different in composition, in the types of lesion that impair their
functioning, in the chemicals they react to, and in the anatomy of the
nerves which control them.

Re composition, psychic r=tears contain twice as much albumin and 21%
more protein. (Frey, op. cit. pp44. 45)

Re lesions, "Severing of the sensory root of the trigeminal nerve
(fifth cranial) prevents all reflex weeping, leaving psychical weeping
unaffected". Ralph Holloway once queried this, so here is the full
reference: Enc. Britannica, Vol 7, p98. For confirmation of this in
greater detail , see "Tears and the Lacrimal Gland" by Stella Y.
Botelho, Csinetific American October 1964.

Re stimuli; "Thus an agent such as adrenaline, which has the effect of
stimulating nerve endings, is found to enhance reflex and chemically
induced tearing". (Ibid, p.5 of the article)

Re innervation. The lacrimal muscle in the brain stem of a mammal
received input from two main sources. If the eye is irritated by smoke
or dust or chemicals a message travels inward along the fifth cranial
nerve to say "Ouch". And a message the travels out along the seventh
cranial nerve (roughly parallel) to say "Message received. Now squirt
out some water."

Messages also originate from the hypothalamus. These probably control
unconditioned reflex tears, continual tear for moistening the eyeball,
and tears in response to allergens or coughing or yawning. Efforts have
been made to link these with salivation. But this is unconvincing.
Pavlov could make dogs salivate by the anticipation of food. Nobody has
made its eyes secrete tears by the anticiaption that when a beel rings
someonbe is going to blow smopke into them.

Also, there is a fibre with an unknown role connecting the frontal
cortex to the lacrimal nucleus. This site seems to indicate a more
recent evolutionary development.

Sympathetic weeping would have to be mediated through the frontal
cortex. Weeping on behalf of something or someone else requires
assemblage and analysis of a complex mass of sensory input. You need to
register: "What I am looking at is animate; it is capable of suffering;
it is not my enemy so I wish it no harm; it may be kin to me; in any
case it resebles me in various respects, sufficient for me to empathise
with it."

Young children clasify themselves differently from adults. They weep
sooner for animals than for adult people. They seem to judge: "This is.
like me, one of the smaller and comparaitvly more helpless living
things which are at the mercy of the tall bipeds." It could be a tool
in the interpretation of children's developing socialisation, but I am
not aware that it has ever been used for that purpoise.

There is a clear diagram of all these and some other nerves
in Botelho,op.cit.

Still to come, a question on salt, which will give some possible
comfort to opponents of AAH, and a question on alternative answers to
the psychic tears question, which will give comfort to its supporters.