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May 1955

Psychosurgery and the Self.

AMA Arch NeurPsych. 1955;73(5):595. doi:10.1001/archneurpsyc.1955.02330110111017

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This is a psychologist's study of 76 patients undergoing lobotomy and of 17 control subjects. Both groups were stabilized and functioning effectively in the community from four months to ten years or more after release from the hospital. What is it that distinguishes lobotomized people from others who have not had an operation? It is not the I. Q. or ability to run the Porteus maze. Deliberation tests are not truly significant. Rather, it is the relationship of the patient to himself. This feature has been tested in a number of ways. The Self-Regarding-Span is the number of seconds that a patient can be brought to examine and scrutinize himself for the benefit of the examiner. In addition to the simple matter of time, there is also the quality of the responses, with the amount of concern or detachment expressed. Finally, a sensibility questionnaire attempts to elicit the reaction of

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