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August 9, 1952


Author Affiliations

Lexington, Ky.
Senior Surgeon, U. S. Public Health Service.; From the National Institute of Mental Health, National Institutes of Health, Public Health Service, Addiction Research Center, U. S. Public Health Service Hospital, Lexington, Ky., and the Departments of Neurology and Psychiatry, University of Cincinnati College of Medicine.

JAMA. 1952;149(15):1365-1368. doi:10.1001/jama.1952.02930320005002

Although correlations of a high degree of statistical significance have been demonstrated between changes in the electroencephalogram and certain clinical conditions, notably in epilepsy and focal organic brain lesions, every electroencephalographer is aware that dissociation of the electroencephalographic pattern and the clinical status is not uncommon. To the investigator, these facts are of great importance, since they suggest clues regarding the functional significance of rhythmical cortical electrical activity. From the clinician's standpoint, however, such discrepancies are disappointing; for, in spite of logical reasons to the contrary,1 the hope is still widespread that a laboratory test will someday be found that will furnish clinical diagnoses. Experience with electroencephalography has shown that this is not the case, but the view is still prevalent that with the aid of the electroencephalogram one can distinguish between "functional" (usually meaning psychogenic) and "organic" (usually meaning nonpsychogenic) states.

It is the purpȯse of this paper