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August 1934

The Psychological Effects of Oxygen Deprivation (Anoxemia) on Human Behavior.

Arch NeurPsych. 1934;32(2):463-464. doi:10.1001/archneurpsyc.1934.02250080209017

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Abstract

Part I of this dissertation is an extensive survey of the literature on oxygen want, covering the methods of investigation, the physiologic effects, the symptoms reported by aviators, mountain climbers and miners and the changes in behavior recorded in controlled studies.

The author's own research, which is presented in part II, consists of three experiments: the first was made on nine members of the Cambridge University Air Squadron and the second and third were made on seven graduate students and psychologists at Columbia University. While breathing different mixtures of oxygen varying from 11.43 to 7.68 per cent, these subjects attempted simple choice reaction tests, formboard tests and two tests of neuromuscular control.

The author concludes that simple sensory and motor responses are not seriously impaired until the subject approaches collapse from oxygen deprivation; but that complex choice reactions are impaired relatively sooner, unless there is some strong incentive, as there

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