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October 1955

Psychologic Factors in Convulsive Disorders of Focal Origin

Author Affiliations

Rochester, Minn.

AMA Arch NeurPsych. 1955;74(4):365-374. doi:10.1001/archneurpsyc.1955.02330160015004

Psychic phenomena as part of epileptic seizures have long been known to exist. It was not until the days of Bright, Todd, and Hughlings Jackson, however, that they were completely stripped of supernatural and magical connotations and put in a rational frame of reference.1 With the description of "uncinate fits,"2 impetus was given to research along anatomicophysiologic lines. The advent of electroencephalography and the studies of Penfield and Jasper,3 as well as Gibbs and associates,4 further established the temporal lobe as the main area of the brain which would give rise to psychic phenomena in seizures. These phenomena may take the form of visual, auditory, olfactory, or gustatory hallucinations; dreamy states; perceptual illusions; recollection of memories, or forced thinking. Penfield and Jasper's studies on the exposed cortex showed that all these experiences could be reproduced by cortical stimulation when they formed part of the particular patient's