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Article
March 1950

OBJECTIVE TESTING OF VISION WITH USE OF THE GALVANIC SKIN RESPONSE

Author Affiliations

BALTIMORE
From the Psychobiological Laboratory, Phipps Psychiatric Clinic, Johns Hopkins Hospital.

Arch Ophthalmol. 1950;43(3):529-536. doi:10.1001/archopht.1950.00910010538014
Abstract

IN THE experiments reported here, the aim is to outline a simple technic for the objective testing of vision. This technic has been found useful as an aid in the diagnosis of psychogenic factors or of malingering in visual defects in man, whether the defects are present as a failure of visual acuity or as a limitation of the visual field, and, with modifications, can also be used for the study of vision in animals.

This objective testing is made possible by use of a skin galvanometer that gives a graphic record of activity in the sympathetic nervous system. The galvanometer records a phenomenon that was first described by Féré1 in 1888 and by Veraguth and Müller (Veraguth2) in 1904, and has since become known either as the psychogalvanic or, more simply, as the galvanic skin response. Féré showed that in hysterics a variety of excitations—visual, auditory, gustatory,

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