- point de repère
- The French term point de repère translates loosely as 'guiding mark' or 'target'. It was introduced in or shortly before 1884 by the French psychologist Alfred Binet (1857-1911) to denote a Stimulus or object in the extracorporeal world that acts as a nucleus of sensation around which the perceptual system may build up an * illusion or hallucination. In *crystallomancy or crystal gazing, for example, reflections of light observed within the diaphanous medium are believed to act as points de repère for the development of * visions or * visual hallucinations. Likewise, clouds or banks of fog may act as points de repère for the development of * apparitions and * collective hallucinations. As noted by Binet, points de repère constitute subconsciously perceived guiding marks, whereas the resulting illusions or hallucinations are consciously perceived. The pattern or image suggested by points de repère can be exceptionally strong, as is indicated in the following passage by the British classical scholar, writer, and poet Frederic Myers (1843-1901). "A hypnotised subject - hypnotised but in a fully alert state - can often be caused by suggestion to see (say) a portrait upon a blank card; and will continue to see that portrait on that card, after the card has been shuffled; thus showing that he discerns with unusual acuteness such points de repère, or little guiding marks, as may exist on the surface of even an apparently blank card."ReferencesBinet, A. (1884). L'hallucination. Recherches théoriques et expérimentales. Revue Philosophique de France et de l'Étranger, 18,411-412.Myers, F.W.H. (1903). Human personality and its survival of bodily death. Volume I. London: Longmans, Green, and Co.
Dictionary of Hallucinations. J.D. Blom. 2010.