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February 1, 1902

SUDDEN AND TEMPORARY MENTAL ABERRATION—UNCONSCIOUS AUTOMATISM— TEMPORARY IRRESPONSIBLE STATES.

JAMA. 1902;XXXVIII(5):315-317. doi:10.1001/jama.1902.62480050029001i

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Abstract

The problems in psychology are numerous and fascinating, and many are yet unsolved. A man may be able to carry on a considerable conversation to-day, during which he betrays only slight peculiarities, perhaps only some exaggeration in speech; or, unless he is watched closely, he may not appear out of the ordinary; to-morrow he declares he has no recollection of the conversation. But what a loophole this hiatus may offer to one dissatisfied with his contract, or to one on the wrong side of the market who wishes to repudiate the order to his broker of the previous day, or to the one who wants to curse or annihilate his enemy!

It is a fact, though, that there are certain individuals who at times perform certain automatic acts, or say certain things, or are seized with sudden delusions or hallucinations, who, after a period of a few minutes, or a

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