Chronogenetic localization

According to this concept (borrowed from Richard Semon (1859-1918), a professor of zoology at Jena University, who proposed a theory of organic memory based on the notion of the 'engram'(5l,5,2)) 'time' is the crucial parameter of all neuropsychiatric phenomena. Functions (e.g. movement) are processes which, like music, unfold in time and according to a specific 'kinetic melody'. Hence it would be a mistake to attempt to localize processes (i.e. brain functions) in terms of specific brain sites (i.e. space alone). It would also be wrong to localize mental symptoms on specific brain addresses for, like movements, their localization was also in time. Influenced by Jackson, von Monakow and Mourgue believed that chronogenetic localization was a late acquisition in evolutionary time, and hence regarded it as a complex but unstable mechanism.

One interesting implication is that the 'chronogenetic' localization of neuropsychiatric symptoms cannot be studied by means of either cross-sectional studies or traditional longitudinal studies (i.e. as collections of cross-sectional snapshots). Neuropsychiatric symptoms unfold in time according to their own kinetic melody; for example, a hallucination can only be fully understood when the entire 'token' or hallucinatory episode has been completed, and this may take minutes or hours. This allows real longitudinal information on specific variables to be collected and integrated (e.g. modulations in intensity, changes in imagery, and accompanying emotions). Such an integrated and longitudinal knowledge is a crucial source of aetiological information.

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