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October 1947


Author Affiliations


From the Department of Neurology, George Washington University School of Medicine.

Arch NeurPsych. 1947;58(4):417-425. doi:10.1001/archneurpsyc.1947.02300330029002

PSYCHOSURGERY was introduced into this country ten years ago, amid rumblings of disbelief and thunderings of disapproval. It seems appropriate now that a survey of results of the first decade be presented.

It was the experimental work of a group of investigators in Yale University that started Egas Moniz1 on the surgical treatment of mental disorders. Jacobsen,2 in association with Fulton, noted a profound alteration in response to frustration in the chimpanzee with both frontal poles excised. Before operation, if the animal made a few mistakes, he would scream with rage, urinate and defecate in the cage, roll in the feces, shake the bars and refuse to continue the experiments. After the operation the same animal would continue in the experimental situation long beyond the patience of the examiner, making mistake after mistake, without the least indication of being upset emotionally.

At about the same time Brickner3

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