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March 1938

ORGANIZATION OF MEMORY TRACES IN THE KORSAKOFF SYNDROME

Author Affiliations

NEW YORK

From the department of psychiatry of the New York University College of Medicine and Bellevue Hospital, Psychiatric Division.

Arch NeurPsych. 1938;39(3):482-487. doi:10.1001/archneurpsyc.1938.02270030060004
Abstract

Karsten1 studied psychic saturation by directing normal subjects to perform simple drawings, like fence pickets, and simple designs continuously until the subjects were completely exhausted and refused to go on. She found dissolution of the original configuration in the course of such an experiment. The drawing became disorderly and loosely connected, devoid of definite boundaries and broken up into little independent fragments, and the larger portions were disintegrated. Two of us (F. J. C. and P. S.)2 who studied verbal material with a similar method, found evidence of organizing forces and active processes during repetition of the recall of a story told once to the patient. In cases of organic memory disturbances, the evidence of acceleration and exaggeration of organizing processes was striking.

A series of patients with Korsakoff's syndrome were examined during this investigation. One of us (L. B.) had collected a large mass of material concerning

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