Conditioning and the classification of the chronic schizophrenic patient

  • T. A. Ban
  • J. V. Ananth
  • H. E. Lehmann


An attempt to construct a psychophysiological (conditioning) classification of chronic schizophrenia has been reported and the relationship of this new classification with the prevailing clinical (psychopathological) classification has been examined.

Our findings suggest that our chronic schizophrenic population may be described in terms of a hypothetical continuum, based on the combination of the 11 experimental variables tested. This is supported by the result that our experimental population was distributed over 97 of the possible 117 categories. Furthermore, in a Pavlovian frame of reference our population disperses into three groups: a high performance group, in which both, excitatory and inhibitory processes are relatively maintained, a moderate performance group with some impairment of the inhibitory process, and a low performance group in which both the excitatory and the inhibitory processes are relatively impaired.

Heuristically even more important is the finding that these schizophrenic categories are characterized by dissociation, either within the individual functional system or between the functional systems. In most of the categories of the experimental population a characteristic dissociation of functioning appears. It is characterized by a relatively well maintained functional ability of the autonomic functional system in contrast to an impaired skeletomuscular system. This dissociation resembles the phenomenon of schizokinesis.

Since the morphological substrates of our experimental variables are those which are also affected by a variety of psychoactive drugs with well defined neurophysiological action, the categories delineated in this study would be verified by differential psychopharmacological responsiveness.


Functional System Brief Psychiatric Rate Scale Experimental Population Orient Reflex Chronic Schizophrenic Patient 
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Copyright information

© Springer 1979

Authors and Affiliations

  • T. A. Ban
    • 1
  • J. V. Ananth
    • 1
  • H. E. Lehmann
    • 1
  1. 1.Douglas HospitalVerdunCanada

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