FEEDBACK EEG REACTIVITY AND THE SOCIAL RESPONSIVITY OF PSYCHIATRIC PATIENTS


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Abstract

Social responsivity and spontaneous attentiveness to the environment were evaluated in a heterogeneous sample of psychiatric patients. Each of the 22 male inpatients was first seen in a nondirective. taped interview and then tested with a feedback electroencephalogram (EEG) measure of attention.It was predicted that those patients who were more responsive in the interview a) would initially be more reactive in terms of their EEG response to visual stimulation; and b) would maintain their attentiveness longer than would the less socially responsive group.The results indicated significant correlations (from +.49 to +.64) between the measures of interview responsivity and attentional reactivity for ranks across all Ss. In addition, when the sample was divided into two separate groups of high vs. low social responders, group differences were found with respect to both initial EEG reactivity and the measures of persistence of attentiveness.The results appear to have implications for the “trait” concept within personality theory, and less directly, for aspects of psychoanalytic theory. In addition, the clear group differences obtained on a variety of attentional parameters underline the potential usefulness of the method of feedback in the study of EEG and behavior.

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