1. A connection of persons, things, or ideas by some common factor. 2. A functional connection of two ideas, events, or psychologic phenomena established through learning or experience. SEE ALSO: conditioning. 3. Statistical dependence between two or more events, characteristics, or other variables. 4. In medical genetics, a grouping of congenital anomalies found together more frequently than otherwise expected; the use of this term implies that the cause is unknown. [L. as-socio, pp. -sociatus, to join to; ad + socius, companion]
- CHARGE a. a particular grouping of congenital anomalies found together more frequently than otherwise expected. Affected patients have coloboma of the eye, heart defects (typically tetralogy of Fallot, patent ductus arteriosus, or ventricular or atrial septal defect), atresia of the choanae, renal anomalies and retardation of growth and/or development, genital anomalies in males such as small penis or cryptorchidism, and ear abnormalities or deafness. SYN: CHARGE syndrome.
- clang a. psychic associations resulting from sounds; often encountered in the manic phase of manic-depressive psychosis.
- dream associations the memories and emotions mentioned by a patient trying to understand a dream at the request of a psychoanalyst.
- free a. an investigative psychoanalytic technique in which the patient verbalizes, without reservation or censor, the passing contents of his or her mind; the verbalized conflicts that emerge constitute resistances that are the basis of the psychoanalyst's interpretations.
- genetic a. the occurrence together in a population, more often than can be readily explained by chance, of two or more traits of which at least one is known to be genetic.
- independent practice a. (IPA) an a. of independent physicians or small groups of physicians formed for the purpose of contracting with one or more managed health care organizations. Member physicians provide medical services for HMO patients in their own offices and are allowed to maintain private practices. SEE ALSO: managed care, health maintenance organization.
- loose associations a manifestation of a thought disorder whereby the patient's responses do not relate to the interviewer's questions or one paragraph, sentence, or phrase is not logically connected to those that occur before or after.

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as·so·ci·a·tion ə-.sō-sē-'ā-shən, -shē- n
1) the act of associating
2) something linked in memory or imagination with a thing or person
3) the process of forming mental connections or bonds between sensations, ideas, or memories
4) the aggregation of chemical species to form (as with hydrogen bonds) loosely bound chemical complexes compare POLYMERIZATION (1)
as·so·ci·a·tion·al -shnəl, -shən-əl adj

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as·so·ci·a·tion (ə-so″se-aґshən) [L. associatio, from ad to + socius a fellow] 1. a state in which two attributes occur together either more or less often than expected by chance. 2. in neurology, a term applied to those regions of the brain that link the primary motor and sensory cortices; see association areas, under area. 3. in genetics, the occurrence together of two or more phenotypic characteristics more often than would be expected by chance. To be distinguished from linkage (q.v.). 4. in psychiatry, a connection between ideas or feelings, especially between conscious thoughts and elements of the unconscious, or the formation of such a connection.

Medical dictionary. 2011.

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