- kinaesthetic hallucination
- Also known as kinesthetic hallucination, kinaesthetic illusion, and hallucination of motion. The term kinaesthetic hallucination is indebted to the Greek words kinèsis (movement) and aisthèsis (feeling). In a broad sense, it is used to denote a hallucinatory or illusory feeling of motion of the body or a body part. In a more restricted sense, it is used to denote the hallucinatory or illusory sensation of whole body movement, exemplified by the sensations of locomotion and flying. Hallucinated movements ofthe limbs or other body parts are best designated as *motor illusions. These are typically accompanied by the illusory involvement of muscular activity. The term kinaesthe-sia was introduced in 1880 by the British neurologist Henry Charlton Bastian (1837-1915). Bastian proposed the term to replace the older term 'muscle sense' because, as he maintained, not all the afferent information involving body movement stems from the muscles. The German psychiatrist August Cramer (1860-1912) has been credited with publishing the first clinical study on * proprioceptive as well as kinaesthetic hallucinations in 1889. Although kinaesthetic hallucinations and motor illusions are seldom a prominent feature of * psychosis, they can manifest in a multitude of ways. The Swiss psychiatrist Eugen Bleuler (1857-1939) provided an apt illustration of this when he wrote, "Illusions and hallucinations of the kinaesthetic senses or the vestibular organs are usually in the background of the clinical picture. Yet the patients may firmly believe that they are carrying out certain actions, whereas in reality they are lying still in bed or standing motionless against a wall. Obviously then these organs must be participating in the hallucinatory activity. In dreamlike states we note the patients making uncoordinated movements, almost like epileptics while they themselves believe that they are fighting for their lives or participating in some love-scene. Under certain conditions, they believe that they are being carried from one place to another; that they are being tossed in the air or stood on their heads. It may also happen that patients believe that one of their limbs is in motion, whereas objectively nothing is to be noted." A special variant of the kinaesthetic hallucination is the *space-motion hallucination. Another variant, which may occur in association with * verbal auditory hallucinations, is the *motor verbal hallucination (also known as *subvocalization). The illusory sensation of flying is associated primarily with the use of *hallucinogens such as mescaline, bufotenine, hyoscyamine, and possibly kava. Both kinaesthetic hallucinations and motor illusions can be classified as subclasses of the group of * illusory movement experiences. As demonstrated in myriad experimental configurations, kinaesthetic hallucinations can be evoked within seconds when muscle vibration is used to generate proprioceptive misinformation about limb position. Some examples of the resulting *phantom illusions are the * illusory arm extension and the *Pinocchio illusion. In parapsychology, kinaes-thetic hallucinations are sometimes interpreted as signs of actual movement of the body or of an 'ethereal' component thereof. For example, the illusory feeling of rising upwards is considered a common feature of * near-death experiences (NDEs).ReferencesBleuler, E. (1950). Dementia praecox or the group ofschizophrenias. Monograph series on schizophrenia no. 1. Translated by Zinkin, J. Madison, WI: International Universities Press.Cramer, A. (1889). Die Hallucinationen im Muskelsinn bei Geisteskranken und ihre klinische Bedeutung. Ein Beitrag zur Kenntniss der Paranoia. Freiburg: Akademische Verlagsbuchhandlung von J.C.B. Mohr.Eklund, G. (1972). Position sense and state of contraction: The effects of vibration. Journal ofNeurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry, 35, 606-611.Goodwin, G.M., McCloskey, D.I., Matthews, P.B.C. (1972). The contribution of muscle afferents to kinaesthesia shown by vibration induced illusions of movement and by the effects of paralysing joint afferents. Brain, 95, 705-748.Moody, R.A. (1975). Life after life. New York, NY: Bantam Books.
Dictionary of Hallucinations. J.D. Blom. 2010.