1. Pieces of the embryonic axis, taken from the anterior and posterior regions of embryos from the open neural plate to the late tail-bud stages which had been coagulated by a few seconds' immersion in water at 90°C, were inserted into flaps of gastrula ectoderm which were then cultivated in Holtfreter solution. No induction of mesoderm occurred, but neural tissue was evoked in a high percentage of cases.
2. In early stages the neural tissue usually formed a more or less chaotic tangle of tubes and rods. At later stages it assumed a variety of forms, some of which were similar to parts of the brain, and such brain-parts might be accompanied by secondary structures such as eyes, nasal pits, ears, etc. No elongated tubes resembling the trunk neural tube were seen, although certain neural vesicles may have a cross-section very like that of the neural tube.
3. The induction of recognizable brain or eye was not uncommon when anterior implants were used, but was not seen at all with posterior implants. There was no other difference between the two sets of experiments.
4. It is suggested that the appearance of such organs is not due to the direct action of a regionally specific inducing factor, but rather that all such definite forms arise by a process of self-individuation which occurs within the induced mass of neural tissue. The direction this self-individuation takes, and thus the nature of the organ finally formed, is supposed to depend on chance resemblances between the mass and shape of parts of the original chaotic mass and some part of the normal embryo. It is argued that this could account for the apparently specific effect of the anterior implants.
5. In other experiments in which mesodermal tissues are also induced (e.g. with implants of adult tissues) it is likely that these take part in the self-individuation processes and tend to direct these towards the formation of posterior organs such as trunk and tail.
This work received financial support from the Agricultural Research Council, for which I wish to express my gratitude.