psychic hallucination

   Also known as psychical hallucination, mental hallucination, conception hallucination, and sensorial hallucination. The term psychic hallucination is indebted to the Greek noun psuchè (life breath, spirit, soul, mind). It was introduced in or shortly before 1846 by the French alienist Jules Gabriel François Baillarger (1806-1891) to denote a hallucination primarily mediated by mental faculties such as the memory or the imagination. Baillarger uses the term in opposition to the expression *psychosensorial hallucination, which to him denotes a phenomenon that is more lively in nature, and attributable to the sense organs or other peripheral regions of the perceptual system. Baillarger's notion of the psychic hallucination fits in with the * centrifugal theory of hallucinatory activity. In 1888, the French psychiatrist Louis Jules Ernest Séglas (18561939) proposed a division of psychic hallucinations, or *motor hallucinations, as he called them, into *psychomotor hallucinations and *verbal impulses. Séglas conceptualized psychic hallucinations as thoughts which invade the stream of conscious thought and which are designated by the affected individual as 'alien' (i.e. what is now known as thought insertion). The term psychical hallucination is also used by the Canadian neurosurgeon Wilder Graves Penfield (18911976) to denote the type of hallucination that can be evoked through cortical probing. Like Baillarger, Penfield envisages psychical hallucinations as mediated by central parts of the perceptual system. However, he goes one step further than Baillarger by asserting that they are invariably produced by the recall ofpast experience. Because of this conceptualization as * reperceptive phenomena, Penfield suggests that psychical hallucinations should preferably be designated as experiential seizures or experiential responses to stimulation. In the context of Penfield's general classification of *psychical states, the term psychical hallucination is used in opposition to the terms * psychical illusion and * psychomotor automatism.
   Baillarger, J. (1846). Des hallucinations, des causes qui les produisent et des maladies qui les caractérisent. Paris: Pankoucke.
   Penfield, W., Jasper, H. (1954). Epilepsy and the functional anatomy ofthe human brain. Boston, MA: Little, Brown and Company.
   Séglas, J. (1888). L'hallucination dans ses rapports avec la fonction du langage; - les hallucinations psycho-motrices. Progrès Médical, 33/34, 124-126.

Dictionary of Hallucinations. . 2010.

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