polyopic heautoscopy
   The term polyopic heautoscopy comes from the Greek words polus (much, many), opsis (seeing), heautou ('of oneself'), and skopeô (I am looking at). It translates loosely as 'seeing [something of] oneself in multiple images'. The term is used to denote a variant of * heautoscopy in which multiple * doubles are perceived. The ensuing coexistence of similar images within the field of vision is called * multiplication. The earliest known account of polyopic heautoscopy was published in 1826 by the German physiologist and zoologist Johannes Peter Müller (1801-1858). As Müller recounts, "One day, after having been involved in a lively scientific debate and without food for a while, Professor X returned home. His way led him through a field with clumps of trees. Suddenly, he saw between 12 and 15 copies ofhimself at various stages of life. His doubles were attired according to their presumed age and hence some wore clothes no longer in fashion. They walked around paying little attention to one another. The professor needed to make a great mental effort to convince himself that he was experiencing a hallucination and to conjure the copies away. This experience was more than just seeing a double." In 2006, the Swiss neuroscientists Peter Brugger et al. reported a case of polyopic heautoscopy in a 41-year-old man who saw two male and three female doubles (also referred to as heterosexual heautoscopy) in the right hemispace. These doubles would speak to him, and mimic his movements and gestures (a phenomenon known as heautoscopic echopraxia). The appearance of the doubles was preceded by the subject's sensation of being split into two halves, along the median line of the body. The heautoscopic hallucinations were associated with a tumour in the right insular region of the left temporal lobe. Other known cases in the literature have been attributed to tumours and/or focal epileptic seizures in the temporal, parietal, and occipital lobes. Although any of these areas may be involved in the mediation of polyopic heautoscopy, the condition tends to be attributed primarily to focal damage to the temporo-parietal junction of either hemisphere.
   Brugger, P., Blanke, O., Regard, M., Bradford, D.T., Landis, Th. (2006). Polyopic heau-toscopy: Case report and review of the literature. Cortex, 42, 666-674.
   Müller, J. (1826). Ueber die phantastischen Gesichtserscheinungen. Koblenz: Hölscher.

Dictionary of Hallucinations. . 2010.

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  • heautoscopy —    Also written as héautoscopy. Both terms stem from the Greek words heautou ( of oneself ) and skopeô (I am looking at). They translate loosely as seeing oneself or seeing [something] of oneself . In the older literature heau toscopy is also… …   Dictionary of Hallucinations

  • heterosexual heautoscopy —    A term used to denote a variant of heautoscopy in which more than one double or doppelgänger is perceived, of both sexes. In 2006 the Swiss neurologists Peter Brugger et al. reported a case of heterosexual heautoscopy in a 41 year old man who… …   Dictionary of Hallucinations

  • deuteroscopic hallucination —    The term deuteroscopic hallucination is indebted to the Greek words deuteros (second) and skopeo (I am looking at). In 19th century medicine it was used as a synonym for *autoscopic hallucination. The French physician and psychologist Paul… …   Dictionary of Hallucinations

  • multiplication —    The term multiplication comes from the Latin verb multiplicare, which means to multiply or to duplicate. It is used to denote the presence of multiple identical images in * visual hallucinations. Multiplication is a characteristic feature of a …   Dictionary of Hallucinations

  • autoscopy —    The term autoscopy comes from the Greek words autos (self) and skopeô (I am looking at). It translates roughly as seeing oneself and is used to denote the act of perceiving a hallucinated mirror image of oneself, viewed from the position of… …   Dictionary of Hallucinations

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