Electrographic Evidence of Impaired Brain Function in Chronically Anxious Patients

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science  03 Jun 1960:
Vol. 131, Issue 3414, pp. 1671-1672
DOI: 10.1126/science.131.3414.1671


In a study of cerebral function by electroencephalographic techniques the following observations have been made. (i) In intact subjects, repeated stimulation with bright light causes a predictable change (alpha blocking) in the electroencephalogram, whereas repeated auditory stimulation does not. (ii) If, however, an auditory stimulus is presented repeatedly just before the visual stimulus, the sound temporarily but predictably acquires the property of the light to suppress the alpha activity. (iii) This linkage between sound and light occurs much less frequently in human subjects with known amounts of structural brain damage. (iv) A similar electrophysiological defect, implying impairment of brain function, occurs in patients showing severe anxiety during prolonged periods of difficulty in over-all adaptation.