We present in this paper certain of our observations on the heart rate under conditions designed to elicit emotional reactions. No explanation need be offered for investigating the emotions of psychotic patients. "Emotional reactions," "affective states" and other terms of similar connotation constitute a large part of the current psychiatric patter. In reading the psychiatric literature, one almost is led to think that a detailed knowledge of emotional conflicts would, in itself, be a knowledge of the causes of the psychoses. Some of our observations, however, appear to minimize rather than to emphasize the "emotional" significance of certain reactions.
We shall first present the observations descriptively and then discuss briefly their possible significance. The records represent the results of about two hundred and eighty hours of observation of forty-eight subjects, twenty-nine of whom were psychotic patients.
A relationship between the heart and the emotions has long been known, but,
WHITEHORN JC, KAUFMAN MR, THOMAS JM. HEART RATE IN RELATION TO EMOTIONAL DISTURBANCES. Arch NeurPsych. 1935;33(4):712–731. doi:10.1001/archneurpsyc.1935.02250160027003
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