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January 1957

Frontal Lobe Damage and Flicker Fusion Frequency

AMA Arch NeurPsych. 1957;77(1):108-110. doi:10.1001/archneurpsyc.1957.02330310118018

Flicker fusion frequency is the number of light-dark cycles per second at which an intermittent light is perceived by a particular subject as a steady point of light without semblance of flicker. Investigations of this phenomenon have indicated a linkage between it and various physiological and psychological characteristics.* Two studies in particular have raised the possibility that frontal lobe damage may be reflected in a depressed fusion point or in the variability displayed in fixing the point of fusion.†

The present study was designed to assess the long-range or permanent effects of bilateral prefrontal lobotomy on flicker fusion frequency when adequate control groups are employed.

Procedure  A total of 116 subjects were involved in the investigation. Three matched groups were directly concerned with the effects of frontal lobe damage on the fusion point:

  1. A group of 26 patients lobotomized 8.6 years prior to testing.

  2. A group of 18 control patients