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Imagery Sequence in Sensory Deprivation

ROBERT VOSBURG, M.D.; NORMAN FRASER, M.B., Ch.D., D.P.M.; JOHN GUEHL Jr., M.D.
AMA Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1960;2(3):356-357. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1960.03590090112016.
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Experimental manipulation of the environment to reduce cues and pattern, now known as sensory deprivation, has produced general behavioral and cognitive abnormalities, including hallucinatory activity, in clinically normal subjects. Reviews of the literature by Solomon and associates1 and Vosburg2 show (1) that in general the severer the deprivation the more quickly logical and affective disturbances in thinking develop, and (2) that experimental population and bias bear importantly upon the reported results.3 While the psychotic-like quality of behavior under these conditions has been widely commented upon, no general statement of the content and sequence of thought for subjects in sensory deprivation has been made heretofore. Similarly, no generalization that describes the transition from adaptive to breakdown behavior for the sensorily deprived state has yet been forthcoming.

Method  Twelve adult college-trained, psychiatrically knowledgeable subjects were isolated in an anechoic chamber

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