- Also known as postcognition. The term retrocog-nition comes from the Latin words retro (backwards) and cognoscere (learning to know). It was introduced in or shortly before 1895 by the British classical scholar, writer, and poet Frederic Myers (1843-1901) to denote a hallucination, memory image, or idea depicting a past event which may or may not have been experienced in person. Allegedly, instances of retrocognition may occur spontaneously or at will. As noted by the American paranormal researcher Rosemary Ellen Guily, "Spontaneous retrocognition usually manifests as a hallucination or vision. The present surroundings are abruptly replaced by a scene out of the past. Although the vision is usually fleeting, some last for minutes and generally feature movement, sounds, and smells." In biomedicine, such paroxysmal " complex, "compound, or "scenic hallucinations tend to be identified as "aurae (notably " psychic aurae), " reperceptive hallucinations, or " dissociative phenomena. The terms retrocogni-tion and postcognition are used in opposition to the term " precognition.ReferencesGuily, R.E. (1991). Harper's encyclopedia of mystical and paranormal experience.New York, NY: Castle Books.Myers, F.W.H. (1895). The subliminal self: The relation of super-normal phenomena to time; -retrocognition. Proceedings ofthe Society for Psychical Research, 11, 334-593.Myers, F.W.H. (1903). Human personality and its survival of bodily death. Volumes I and II. London: Longmans, Green, and Co.
Dictionary of Hallucinations. J.D. Blom. 2010.