Full text: Problems in eugenics

45°Section IV.R. Dupuy. 
In the case of sight the anomalies are concerned with the surroundings 
of the eye: the eyelids, whose palpebral slit is placed slantways* as in 
Mongolism, or which shows an accessory membrane (epicanthus), the 
Lacrymal glands which act defectively (several backward children weep 
without tears), the motor muscles which lack co-ordination, or which show 
intermittent contractions. 
The eye is frequently in a state of exophthalmos. The anomalies which 
it shows may concern all its constituent parts, especially if there is an arrest 
in the development, as for example in coloboma. 
In the retina, we note papillary dystrophy owing to vascular defect, 
which even causes blindness, which may persist after a few months from 
birth. The iris is abnormal by lack of pigmentation, and inco-ordination of 
the muscles which put it into action. This produces paradoxical reactions 
of the pupils. These are inactive, dilated, or contracted, and deprived of 
the reflexes, except such as may be caused by a cerebral lesion. In the case 
of many backward children, the eye is dull, the look vague, without 
expression and without life. Sometimes, on the other hand, the eyes are too 
brilliant, the look is too lively, too piercing and too fixed. Faults of 
refraction and colour-blindness are also frequent. Perversions of inter­ 
pretation are very common, a greater part of these children are unable to 
recognise colours, and estimate distances and dimensions. 
The hearing is abnormal, in so far as the hearing apparatus is incomplete 
(absence of an ossicle, malformation of the tympanum, atrophy of the organ 
of Corti), the acuity of hearing is there diminished. Deafness, however, is 
often due to another cause, namely the presence of adenoid vegetations in the 
pharynx, which block up the opening of the Eustachian tube. On the 
contrary, numbers of backward children show an over-acuteness of hearing, 
and have a decided taste for music. We will not speak of the malformations 
of the external ear which are well-known, such as exaggerated dimensions, 
unusual setting, dystrophies of lobes, the tubercle of Darwin. 
Taste shows several anomalies. Atrophy of the papillae explains why 
certain subjects are unable to distinguish certain flavours, and perversions 
are frequent. 
Smell has also its anomalies. Without speaking of the external 
dystrophies of the nose,—which, with the open mouth resulting from 
defective respiration through the nose, complete the unpleasant picture of 
the backward child,—it is necessary to mention the various anomalies, such 
as malformations or hypertrophies of the septum, absence of one nostril, 
etc. In the case of some, the sense of smell is very slight. In others, on 
the contrary, it is highly developed, and in many cases, one finds also signs 
of perversion in the interpretation of sensation. 
The anomalies of touch bring us to the study of the hand. The hands 
of backward persons present varied types. Hands long and tapering, hands 
short and thick, hands wrinkled and dark-coloured, and other varieties.

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