- reflex hallucination
- Also known as reflex false perception and apperceptive hallucination. The German term Reflexhallucination was introduced in or shortly before 1866 by the German psychiatrist Karl Ludwig Kahlbaum (1828-1899) to denote a hallucination arising in reaction to a regular sense impression that affects a different sensory modality. In his treatise on hysteria, the French philosopher and hypnotist Pierre Marie Félix Janet (1859-1947) illustrates the phenomenon by giving the example of a woman named Berthe who is told, during a somnambulist state, that she will see a butterfly whenever her thumb is touched and a goose whenever her pink is touched - which she does accordingly. The Swiss psychiatrist Eugen Bleuler (1857-1939) likened the mediation of reflex hallucinations to the regular process of association when he wrote that "reflex hallucinations... may originate by way of exaggeration of a normal process: the sight of a handwriting or the hearing of footsteps may often arouse very vivid feelings and even definite ideas." A variant of the reflex hallucination is known as "creative hallucination. Conceptually and phenomenologically, there would seem to be a certain analogy between reflex hallucinations and " synaesthesias. However, synaesthesias tend to be conceptualized as stereotyped and relatively simple perceptual phenomena that manifest themselves in a sensory modality other than the one that was stimulated, whereas reflex hallucinations can affect any of the sensory modalities, ranging in complexity from simple to complex, and even compound. Nevertheless, the terms synaesthesia and reflex hallucination are sometimes used interchangeably in the literature. Conceptually, the notion of the reflex hallucination also shows certain similarities to other cross-activation syndromes such as the "Tullio phenomenon and the Proust phenomenon (involving odours evoking autobiographical memories, named after the French author Marcel Proust (1871-1922)).ReferencesBleuler, E. (1950). Dementia praecox or the group ofschizophrenias. Monograph series on schizophrenia no. 1. Translated by Zinkin, J. Madison, WI: International Universities Press.Janet, P. (1911). L'état mental des hystériques. Deuxième édition. Paris: Félix Alcan.Kahlbaum, K. (1866). Die Sinnesdelirien. Allgemeine Zeitschrift für Psychiatrie und psychischgerichtliche Medizin, 23, 56-78.
Dictionary of Hallucinations. J.D. Blom. 2010.