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August 28, 1948


Author Affiliations

Cedars of Lebanon Hospital, Hollywood, Calif.

University of Illinois, Chicago.

JAMA. 1948;137(18):1619. doi:10.1001/jama.1948.02890520051024

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To the Editor:—  A number of considerations have convinced us of the need for a specific term to denote certain bodily changes resulting from emotional disturbance. We have already proposed (The Journal132:1053, 1946) the term "emotogenic" to designate alterations in gastric function which may occur in association with affective states unrelated to the taking or conscious thought of food. In the present communication we will discuss the origin of this term and some of its broader uses and implications.Our attention was first drawn to this problem when, in going over the literature on the effect of emotions on gastric secretion, we became aware that there is no way of knowing, when a paper bears the term "psychic effects" in its title, whether it deals with "appetite" secretion or emotionally conditioned secretion.The stimulation of gastric secretion by emotional states acting over the vagal pathway is often termed

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