- psychical illusion
- Also known as illusion of comparative interpretation and interpretive illusion. The term psychical illusion is indebted to the Greek noun psuchè (life breath, spirit, soul, mind). It was introduced in or shortly before 1954 by the Canadian neuroscientists Wilder Graves Penfield (18911976) and Herbert Henri Jasper (1906-1999) to denote a misrepresentation or altered interpretation of present experience. Penfield and Jasper employ the term psychical illusion in the context of their classification of *psychical states in opposition to the terms *psychical hallucination and * psychomotor automatism. As explained in a paper by Penfield and Sean Francis Mullan (b. 1925): "During a psychical illusion, a subject's awareness is altered by some change that arises spontaneously within the brain. These psychical illusions are alterations in the subject's interpretation of his present state, his present environment, his present existence, and differ essentially from the hallucinations, which are an awareness not of the present but of a different or previous experience." Penfield and Mullan advocate a classification of the group of psychical illusions, arranged in accordance with the sensory modality involved. Based on observations made among 217 individuals participating in cortical probing experiments, their classification comprises * auditory illusions, * visual illusions, * illusions of recognition, *illusional emotions, and a remaining group containing relatively rare phenomena such as illusions of increased awareness, illusions of alteration in the speed of movement, and visuo-vestibular disturbances.ReferencesMullan, S., Penfield, W. (1959). Illusion of comparative interpretation and emotion. Archives of Neurology and Psychiatry, 81, 269-284.Penfield, W., Jasper, H. (1954). Epilepsy and the functional anatomy ofthe human brain. Boston, MA: Little, Brown and Company.
Dictionary of Hallucinations. J.D. Blom. 2010.