Obsessiveness and Viscosity

  • Bruce HermannEmail author
Part of the Neuropsychiatric Symptoms of Neurological Disease book series (NSND)


There has been a long and controversial history concerning the relationship between epilepsy, and specific epilepsy syndromes, and the presence and characteristics of diverse personality and behavioral changes. Here we focus on several distinct traits that have been included in this area of research including obsessiveness, viscosity, hypergraphia, and verbosity. Aspects of this interesting history are reviewed, the development and elaboration of theories concerning these personality and behavioral traits and epilepsy are discussed, and segments of the empirical research that has been conducted in the field are examined. The presence, rate, and correlates of these target behaviors (e.g., hypergraphia, viscosity) vary as a function of important details of the research methodology (e.g., mode of assessment, operational definition of behavior). The clinical significance and underlying neurobiology of these characteristics remain to be determined.


Temporal Lobe Epilepsy Behavioral Change Hypergraphia Circumstantiality Bear-Fedio Inventory Viscosity Epilepsy Personality 



Thanks to Guenter Kraemer, MD, for providing the quote by Kraepelin and Susanne Seeger, MD, for translation.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of NeurologyUniversity of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public HealthMadisonUSA

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