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Article
September 1968

Prelingual DeafnessAn Experiment of Nature

Author Affiliations

Chicago
From the Institute for Psychosomatic and Psychiatric Research and Training, Michael Reese Hospital Chicago.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1968;19(3):361-369. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1968.01740090105011
Abstract

IN VIEW of the importance generally attributed to language in psychological development and function, the importance ascribed to communication difficulties in the genesis and maintenance of psychiatric Pathology, and the central role of communication, particularly verbal communication, in psychotherapy, the study of communication, language, and verbal behavior is of utmost significance, both to the academic scientist and to the clinician. Scanning the table of contents of almost any recent psychiatric journal discloses the interest and attention being given to language, communication, semantics, etc, in the etiology, pathogenesis, and treatment of psychiatric disturbance; eg: "Word Meaning in Parents of Schizophrenics,"1 "Competing Voice Messages,"2 "Language, Consciousness, and Experience,"3 "Communicative Unclarity: Some Comments on the Rhetoric of Confusion."4 To be sure, the nonverbal aspects of communication are still recognized, but even here there is often a linguistic tie-in: "Teaching the Perception

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