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December 1961

Adolescent Violence and Homicide: Ego Disruption and the 6 and 14 Dysrhythmia

Author Affiliations

Department of Psychiatry, University of Wisconsin Medical School.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1961;5(6):528-534. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1961.01710180012002

In 1951, Gibbs and Gibbs1 reported their electroencephalographic discovery of an abnormal dysrhythmia consisting of 6- and 14-per-second positive spiking. Though their findings have not yet had complete acceptance by all electroencephalographers, the work of Gibbs, Kellaway,2 Poser,3 Refsum,4 Schwade5-8 and their co-workers has been impressive in establishing this pattern as a recurrent electroencephalographic phenomena with distinctive and consistent characteristics. It is noted in a significant number of children and adolescents whose behavior includes fire setting, aggressive sexuality, murder, and other acts of violence.2,4,5-10

The pattern is most easily demonstrated with monopolar recording technique, and the complexes may be missed unless records are taken during natural or induced sleep.2,3,4,11,12 The electrical discharge is believed to have a deep, subcortical, midline origin, perhaps in the thalamic or hypothalamic regions.1,3,4,7,8 The etiology is unknown; although head trauma,

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