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June 1955

Psychologic Conflict and Electroencephalographic Patterns: Some Notes on the Problem of Correlating Changes in Paroxysmal Electroencephalographic Patterns with Psychologic Conflicts

Author Affiliations


From the Department of Psychiatry, University of Cincinnati College of Medicine. Part of the work presented here was carried out in the Neuropsychiatric Division, Army Medical Service Graduate School, Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Washington, D. C.

AMA Arch NeurPsych. 1955;73(6):656-662. doi:10.1001/archneurpsyc.1955.02330120060006

There have been a number of interesting reports in the medical literature which give data purporting to demonstrate a correlation between the occurrence or acute arousal of psychologic phenomena * and paroxysmal or deviant electroencephalographic activity of the type seen in epilepsy. Some investigators tend to emphasize the effect of psychologic activity on electroencephalographic activity.† Others tend to regard the psychologic activity as the affected variable and the electroencephalographic activity as the causal agent variable.‡ Psychologic activity (itself a concomitant of some kind of cortical and subcortical neurogenic processes) can possibly have either an inhibiting or a facilitating effect on the functioning of another region of the brain showing abnormal bioelectric discharges. At the same time, a region of abnormal bioelectrical discharge may suppress or facilitate neurogenic activity—and thus psychologic activity—in the same region or elsewhere in the central nervous system. Experimentally and clinically, it is a difficult problem to determine

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