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Behavioural and EEG Effects of Intracarotid Sodium Amytal Injection

  • H. Terzian
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Abstract

I must begin by remarking that before I agreed to participate in this Symposium, the organizers and I discussed whether or not, in a meeting devoted to the “Physiopathology of the states of consciousness”, there was a place for a description and analysis of the behavioural and EEG modifications which follow the intracarotid injection of sodium Amytal (the modifications, that is, due to an acute and temporary pharmacological hemispherectomy). The answer is probably in the affirmative, if consciousness is not simply to be identified with vigilance. if consciousness is not simply reduced to a more or less authomatic function, but is to be understood as it was by Hughlings Jackson nearly a century ago, and synthetically expressed in one of his characteristic foot-notes (a concept informing all the writings of this founder of neurological thinking): “I dare say it may be denied that in some slight cases of insanity there is any defect of consciousness, partly because it is erroneously inferred that what is clinically called insensibility is meant. Yet probabily some of those who would deny defect of consciousness in a slight case of insanity would tacitly admit it by saying that the patient’s judgment, power of attention, emotional control, or will was defective. A person has not got consciousness in addition to will, memory and emotion; these are only names applied to artificially distinguished aspects of consciousness; defective judgment, etc., is defect of consciousness.”

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Wien 1964

Authors and Affiliations

  • H. Terzian
    • 1
  1. 1.Clinica delle Malattie Nervose e Mentalidell’Università di PadovaItalia

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