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Neurophysiologic Mechanisms Underlying Perceptual Inconstancy in Autistic and Schizophrenic Children

Edward M. Ornitz, MD; Edward R. Ritvo, MD
Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1968;19(1):22-27. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1968.01740070024004.
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IN A RECENT communication,1 early infantile autism, atypical development, symbiotic psychosis, and certain cases of childhood schizophrenia were shown to be variants of the same disease. The symptoms of this disease were grouped into disturbances of perception, motility, relating, language, and developmental rate. The disturbances of perception were shown to be fundamental to the other aspects of the disease. They are manifested early in life by the developmental failure of the autistic child to differentiate himself from his environment, to imitate others, and to adequately modulate sensory input. A failure of homeostatic regulation of sensory input was postulated to underlie these deficits. This homeostatic imbalance leads to a state of perceptual inconstancy. The symptoms of the disease were considered in terms of their chronologic appearance, the descriptive groupings just mentioned, and the major developmental manifestations of faulty homeostatic


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