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Riggall, R.M. (1923). Clinical: E. Prideaux. Expression of Emotion in Cases of Mental Disorder as Shown by the Psycho-Galvanic Reflex. British Journal of Psychology, (Medical Section). Vol. II, p. 23.. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 4:163-164.
Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing: Clinical: E. Prideaux. Expression of Emotion in Cases of Mental Disorder as Shown by the Psycho-Galvanic Reflex. British Journal of Psychology, (Medical Section). Vol. II, p. 23.
(1923). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 4:163-164
In his theoretical considerations as to the meaning of the term 'emotion', Prideaux discusses the theories of Stout, Shand, McDougall, Drever and others, finally defining emotion as 'a subjective feeling, consisting of central excitement and consciousness of peripheral
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sensations, occasioned by situations which powerfully oppose or facilitate the aim of any instinctive impulse.' The muscular expression of emotion cannot be treated as a separate problem divorced from the question of control. In considering the question of the reality of emotion in hysterical persons, the author is inclined to agree with the views of James and Janet and believes that if it is restricted to subjective feeling, emotion may be artificial. He is only prepared to accept the over-determination of emotion by displacement in part, but believes that this mechanism occurs more frequently than is generally recognised. The development of the theory that emotion is expressed according to the amount of the visceral reaction, depends on further knowledge of the psycho-galvanic reflex. This reflex is, in the same person, at the same time and under the same conditions, an indication of the intensity of crude emotions as subjectively experienced.
Prideaux employs Féré's method of measuring emotional reactions and subjects each case to five or six stimuli, these being by (1) whistle, (2) dropping weight, (3) motor horn, (4) flashing of light, (5) threat to prick, (6) Dalby's clacker. The average of responses in terms of absolute decrease in ohmic resistance indicates the sensitivity for the galvanic reflex. According to his results, the normal decrease of resistance is 100 ohms; anxiety states, paranoia and delusional insanity are rather less; conversion hysteria, manic depressive, epilepsy and dementia praecox shew far less decrease, in imbeciles and idiots the resistance only falls 13.6 to 6.8 ohms, while in general paralysis there is no decrease at all. Prideaux considers that the reflex is conditioned by the state of the cerebral cortex, but that the relative parts played by the skin, the optic thalamus and the reactivity of the autonomic nervous system are still undetermined.
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Riggall, R.M. (1923). Clinical. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 4:163-164