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May 1951


AMA Arch NeurPsych. 1951;65(5):545-556. doi:10.1001/archneurpsyc.1951.02320050002001

THE FIELDS of epilepsy and mental retardation have engaged our interest for a number of years because we feel that a study of these clinical conditions may throw light on the mechanism of conscious awareness in man. Both conditions appear related to us in the sense that epilepsy may be regarded basically as an acute interruption or disturbance of conscious awareness, while mental retardation manifests itself primarily as a chronic diminution of the state of conscious awareness.

Since man's mental functioning depends on the efficiency of his state of conscious awareness, it follows that a study of the intelligence of the epileptic shows some relation between the type or degree of disturbance in conscious awareness, i. e., the type of seizure, and the adequacy of mental function.

It is the purpose of the present paper to summarize five years of research on the relation of epilepsy, intelligence and personality, as