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March 1949

ELECTROENCEPHALOGRAPHY OF THE NEWBORN: II. Studies on Normal, Full Term Infants While Awake and While Drowsy

Author Affiliations

From the Division of Pediatrics, College of Medicine, University of Tennessee.

Am J Dis Child. 1949;77(3):310-314. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1949.02030040320003

WHILE it is generally agreed that consistently reliable electroencephalograms are best obtained when persons are relaxed, at ease with their eyes closed and free from sensory stimulations, it is naturally quite difficult to obtain these ideal conditions in the study of infants. Since the potential importance of electroencephalography of the newborn infant has already been indicated,1 it becomes necessary to establish normal patterns in various stages of alertness, so that electroencephalograms may be interpreted with some degree of confidence.

It is well known that the state of consciousness exerts a definite effect on the pattern of the brain waves.2 For example, in the newborn period Smith3 showed that the electrical activity noted over the sensory motor areas during sleep is abolished when the infant awakens. In the awake state the tracings are characterized chiefly by a flattened appearance.

In a previous communication1 studies on the brain

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