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June 1957

The Face-Hand Test in Schizophrenic Children

AMA Arch NeurPsych. 1957;77(6):635-642. doi:10.1001/archneurpsyc.1957.02330360093010

It has been postulated that childhood schizophrenia represents an alteration of the central nervous system.1-5,16 Thus, Lauretta Bender has declared that "the schizophrenic child reveals pathology at every level and in every field of integration within the function of the central nervous system, be this vegetative, motor, perceptive, intellectual, emotional or social.... It must be conceived of as striking at the substratum of all integrative functioning."19

In clinical practice, the schizophrenic child's defect in central integration is seldom demonstrable on standard neurological and electroencephalographic examination. Special techniques, e. g., studies of postural reflexes and visual-motor coordination, are needed to elicit neurological defects. A recent addition to this repertoire of special procedures has been M. B. Bender's facehand test.6,13 In a series of studies Bender and his associates6,7,11,18 have shown this task to have clinical value as a diagnostic test of diffuse cerebral dysfunction. The face-hand test