Autonomic Activities of the Mentally Deficient

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Originally published in Contemporary Psychology: APA Review of Books, 1979, Vol 24(1), 41–43. Reviews the book, Developmental Psychophysiology of Mental Retardation: Concepts and Studies edited by Rathe Karrer (1976). It is a collection of original contributions on the psychophysiological characteristics of mentally retarded individuals. The 19 contributors are mostly scientists or scientist-administrators working with the mentally deficient and studying their autonomic activities. Many chapters present new information about the autonomic responsiveness of the mentally defective in a variety of testing situations, and the others are reasonable and critical summaries of experimental work in some aspect of the field. The failure to find universal characteristics of autonomic and behavioral changes in the mentally handicapped common to many situations is apparent from the book. The view that the mentally deficient are childlike is contradicted by data throughout the book. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved)

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