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Exactly 100 undergraduates, picked at random by Hygiene Building officials, have had their brains tested during the past two weeks, it was disclosed yesterday by Mrs. Hallowell Davis, who performed the testing. This is the first time such work has ever been done with undergraduate subjects.
Mrs. Davis is the wife of Hallowell Davis, associate professor of Physiology here, whose work is discussed in the current issue of "Life" magazine. Although unwilling to say anything about her work earlier, saying that persons to be tested might be scared off, she was more receptive to an interview with her job completed.
Tests in Coal Bin
She has been connected with brain testing (or, more technically, electro-encephalogram work) for more than three years at the Medical School. She did her undergraduate testing here in a modest emporium deep in the cellar of the Hygiene Building, an emperium which formerly served as a coal bin.
The process takes approximately half an hour. Ordinary electrodes are pasted on the top, front, and back of the patient's head, while "indifferent" electrodes are connected to his ear lobes. He then lies down, shuts his eyes, thinks about anything, and "lets his brain rattle," Mrs. Davis says. A wide ticker proceeds to emit from an enormous machine, and this ticker contains the brain waves.
Phony Letters Cause Stir
Slight confusion occurred this week in the bowels of the Hygiene building when a number of students already tested returned with letters signed by a "Dr. Hindemuth" calling for new appointments. It turned out the missiles were phony.
Carl E. Reppun '33 had the saddest story of the recipients of the letters. "I was told that my brain record showed that I have unusually low frequencies, that I was super-sensitive to light, and that I had increased internal pressure in the brain," Reppun told Mrs. Davis. Believing firmly is the genuineness of the letter, Reppun added, "I never even knew there was anything the matter with me."
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