- psychical state
- Also known as aura. The term psychical state 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 (1891-1976) and Herbert Henri Jasper (1906-1999) to denote a group of hallucinatory and motor phenomena that may occur either in the wake of an epileptic seizure mediated by temporal regions of the brain, or in isolation, constituting the only clinical manifestation of an epileptic attack. These phenomena are traditionally referred to as *aurae. Pen-field and Jasper employ the term psychical state in the context of their research on epilepsy and their cortical probing experiments. A general classification of psychical states proposed by these authors comprises the notions of *psychical hallucination, *psychical illusion, and *psychomotor automatism. As summarized in a 1959 paper on the subject, psychical hallucinations are conceptualized as * reperceptive phenomena produced by the recall of past experience, whereas psychical illusions are conceptualized as misrepresentations or altered interpretations of present experience.ReferencesMullan, S., Penfield, W. (1959). Illusion of comparative interpretation and emotion. Archives ofNeurology 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.