Although some people find the antiseptic smell of todays modern hospitals unpleasant, the odors were much worse for patients and medical personnel in makeshift hospitals during the Civil War.

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1. Although some people find the antiseptic smell of today’s modern hospitals unpleasant, the odors were much worse for patients and medical personnel in makeshift hospitals during the Civil War. In those days of poor sanitation and hygiene, soldiers’ wounds often became infected, and gangrene was common. The odor of gangrenous wounds was repugnant, and yet nurses and doctors were able to continually care for these patients. After combining what you learned about how the brain processes information in chapter 14 with the facts about olfaction presented in this chapter, explain how those Civil War medical professionals were able to tolerate the unpleasant smells.

2. Early one morning Officer Smith was sitting in her patrol car observing traffic near the town’s elementary school when a sports car suddenly sped past. Realizing that students may be crossing the same street on their way to school, Officer Smith quickly pursued the speeding car. By recalling information about the integration of nervous system functions from previous chapters and reading chapter 16, describe in general the neural pathways involved in Officer Smith’s quick reactions—movement of her skeletal muscles, increased heart rate, and decreased movements and secretions in her digestive system.

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