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October 1958

Specific and General Effects of Brain Injury in Man: Evidence of Both from a Single Task

AMA Arch NeurPsych. 1958;80(4):403-407. doi:10.1001/archneurpsyc.1958.02340100003001

Introduction  In several reports from this laboratory,4,7,8 it has been pointed out that penetrating brain wounds in man tend to have twofold effects on behavior: specific effects, restricted to cases of injury in certain locations,4,5 and general effects, which appear after injuries, irrespective of their site.6,8 Until now, separate tasks have been necessary to demonstrate either kind of effect; the present report deals with a single experimental situation yielding evidence for both.The experiment is based on a classical perceptual task (first used by Aubert in 1861), that of setting a luminous line to the apparent vertical when the subject is tilted in a dark room.1,2 Under conditions of moderate body tilt (up to 30 degrees) to his right, a normal adult makes constant errors by setting the line too far to the left of the plumb line, and conversely for body tilts to the left.