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Golden, M.M. (1955). Meetings of the New York Psychoanalytic Society. Psychoanal Q., 24:478-480.

(1955). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 24:478-480

Meetings of the New York Psychoanalytic Society

Morton M. Golden

January 11, 1955. STREPHOSYMBOLIA, AN INTRASYSTEMIC DISTURBANCE OF THE SYNTHETIC FUNCTION OF THE EGO. Victor H. Rosen, M.D.

The analysis of a young mathematician who suffered from a developmental dysgraphic and dyslexic defect, so-called strephosymbolia, is presented to indicate that writing errors arise from oscillations between attempts to reproduce words in phonetic fashion without regard to their visual appearance or alternatively in idiographic fashion without regard to the order of phonemes necessitated by the sound of the word. It is suggested that, phylogenetically, the disturbance is similar to a transitional stage in the development of writing between idiographic forms and a syllabary alphabet, with incomplete development of the concept of phonetic writing. Pedagogy is well aware of the analogous stages in the learning process of the child in regard to reading and writing from pictography to phonetic concepts. The early Egyptians, who read or wrote in hieroglyphic characters, had to be prepared to shift between an idiographic visual system and a phonographic auditory set of symbols. There is the possibility that Champollion's historic deciphering of the Rosetta Stone might have been the triumph of a kind of 'controlled regression' in reading and writing patterns. Some symbols had to be read as phonograms and others as idiograms. Dr. Rosen suggests that the basic conflict in his patient arose from the primal scene fantasy which associated the father's activity with visual impressions, the mother's with auditory impressions, conceiving of them as two separate unloving human beings who were incapable of producing a child except by artificial insemination.

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