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September 1950


Author Affiliations

Adjunct Neurologist, Mount Sinai Hospital and Beth Israel Hospital NEW YORK

Arch NeurPsych. 1950;64(3):385-400. doi:10.1001/archneurpsyc.1950.02310270074004

THE ELECTROENCEPHALOGRAM has not revealed the secret of nonorganic mental illness. In general, organic cerebral pathologic changes, including toxic changes, determine the presence of abnormality in the electroencephalogram. In the absence of such changes there is, a priori, no reason to expect abnormality of the electroencephalogram— and for the most part abnormality has not been found. Accordingly, a good deal of attention has been directed to the investigation of normal alterations in the electroencephalogram, such as changes in the alpha factor or in the amount of fast activity.

It is the purpose of this paper critically to review the literature concerning variations in the electroencephalogram with normal psychic functioning.


1. Alpha Activity and Perception.  —Alpha activity appears most prominently when the eyes of the subject are protected from light, and it promptly diminishes in amplitude and prevalence on exposure to light. The latency of this effect is given

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