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September 1957

Alterations in Mental Function and Paroxysmal Cerebral Activity

Author Affiliations

Salt Lake City

From the Neurology and Clinical Psychology Services, Veterans' Administration Hospital, Fort Douglas Station, and the Neurology Section, Department of Psychiatry, University of Utah College of Medicine.

AMA Arch NeurPsych. 1957;78(3):264-271. doi:10.1001/archneurpsyc.1957.02330390046006

We have previously reported a study in which we found that certain kinds of "nonanswer" responses (NR's) to intelligence test items occurred to a significantly greater extent among a group of epileptics than among a group having organic brain impairment but without known seizures, and a psychiatric group, respectively.2 Patients with paroxysmal electroencephalographic abnormality, regardless of diagnosis, also were found to demonstrate NR's significantly more frequently than those without such abnormality. NR's might be categorized as temporary losses of goal idea, or what would appear to be transient inattention, preoccupation, or internal distraction. The temporary loss of goal idea was indicated by a direct admission of confusion, request for repetition of the test instructions, a comment or criticism about the test item, a response to part of the question, or verbalization of merely a simple association.

As a result of these findings, our belief was that NR's occur concomitantly

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