To Frans Cornelis Donders1 6 September 1869
Down, Beckenham | Kent
6 Sepr 1869.
“1st Are any facts known which support Sir C Bell’s statement that the contraction of the muscles round the eyes prevents the eye-balls and surrounding parts from becoming gorged with blood, when the circulation is impeded by screaming or or other similar exertions?3
2ndly Is it conceivable that the strong pressure of the muscles round the eyes can in any way stimulate the lachrymal glands, so as to lead to the secretion of tears? I am aware that strong voluntary contraction of these muscles does not produce this effect, or only in a very slight degree: yet I cannot avoid the suspicion that there is some relation between their contraction and the secretion of tears.4
Asks about Charles Bell’s statement concerning contraction of eye muscles. Asks whether such contraction is related to secretion of tears.
Please cite as
Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 6878,” accessed on 12 February 2016, http://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/DCP-LETT-6878