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December 1958

Variability of Critical Flicker Fusion Thresholds in Brain-Injured Children

Author Affiliations

Baltimore; Columbus, Ohio

From the Departments of Otolaryngology (Dr. Mark) and Biostatistics (Dr. Meier), The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, the Department of Psychiatry, Ohio State University College of Medicine (Dr. Pasamanick).

AMA Arch NeurPsych. 1958;80(6):682-688. doi:10.1001/archneurpsyc.1958.02340120018003

This paper reports some differences found between brain-injured (pyramidal-tract-damaged) and control children in critical flicker fusion (CFF) measurements. These results were obtained in the course of studies of intraindividual threshold variability in brain-injured children in various sense modalities presumably unrelated to the area of damage. The investigations were aimed at discovering neuropsychological measurements which might be used to detect otherwise unnoticed alterations in cerebral functioning.

The authors of recent epidemiologic studies1-6 on the association of maternal and fetal factors with the development of neuropsychiatric disorders have assumed damage to the central nervous system to be the major etiologic agent responsible for reproductive casualties, ranging all the way from abortions and neonatal deaths ("gross" damage) down to behavior disorders and reading disabilities ("minimal" damage). It seems plausible that even minimally damaged persons give altered responses in psychophysical test procedures, and that such responses might be developed into sensitive diagnostic tools