The first two chapters of ‘Response in the Living and Non-living’.
Mechanical response to different kinds of stimuli
This reaction under stimulus is seen even in the lowest organisms; in some of the amœboid rhizopods, for instance. These lumpy protoplasmic bodies, usually elongated while creeping, if mechanically jarred, contract into a spherical form.
If, instead of mechanical disturbance, we apply salt solution, they again contract, in the same way as before. Similar effects are produced by sudden illumination, or by rise of temperature, or by electric shock.
A living substance may thus be put into an excitatory state by either mechanical, chemical, thermal, electrical, or light stimulus. Not only does the point stimulated show the effect of stimulus, but that effect may sometimes be conducted even to a considerable distance.