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Perception of Humor in Patients With Temporal Lobe Epilepsy:  A Cartoon Test as an Indicator of Neuropsychological Deficit

Shirley M. Ferguson, MD; Meluin L. Schwartz, PhD; Mark Rayport, MD, CM
Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1969;21(3):363-367. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1969.01740210107016.
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MODULATED apperception of the humorous, requiring facility of appropriate associations, recall, and finesse of judgment of personages and situations, undoubtedly depends upon the integrity of the higher cortical functions. Humorous stimuli (cartoons) were utilized with the hypothesis that responses to them would provide a projective test sensitive to the often subtle organic deficits in higher cortical functions which are believed to underlie the impairment of judgment of everyday life situations in patients with temporal lobe epilepsy.1,2

Method  The Ss were 13 temporal lobe epilepsy patients. The Ss can be characterized as an urban, middle class sample with low normal intelligence quotients (IQ), (Table 1). In ten who had been operated on for intractable temporal lobe seizures, the cartoon test was administered before and three or more months after the neurosurgical intervention. Seven operations were in the nondominant hemisphere and three


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