October 1963

Emotional Symptoms in Extremely Isolated Groups

Author Affiliations

From the Navy Medical Neuropsychiatric Research Unit.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1963;9(4):362-368. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1963.01720160052006

Within the past decade a high degree of interest has been shown, both by medical and behavioral scientists and the public, in the rather dramatic changes in thought and behavior induced by what has often been referred to as "sensory deprivation." This term covers a variety of methods by which intensity or variety of stimulus input in one or more of the sense modalities is reduced.

Hebb,3 in his experimental work on what he called perceptual isolation, suggested that monotonous sensory stimulation produces a disruption of the capacity to learn or even to think. Hebb's associates, Heron,4 Bexton, Scott, and Doane, found that with greatly reduced amount and patterning of sensory input, their volunteers experienced inability to think or concentrate, anxiety, somatic complaints, temporal and spatial disorientation, visual phenomena described as hallucinations, and deficits in task performance.

Kubzansky and Leiderman5 in a critique of

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