- vestibular hallucination
- Also referred to as vestibular aura, vestibular illusion, and vertiginous hallucination. The term vestibular hallucination refers to the vestibular organ, a term which is indebted to the Latin noun vestibulum (forecourt, entrance hall). It is used to denote a hallucinated type of vertigo, which may consist of such diverse sensations as dizziness, disequilibrium, light-headedness, and feelings of floating or falling. As the German psychiatrist and neurologist Georg Theodor Ziehen (1862-1950) maintains, "By means of the vestibu-lar nerve we experience the position of our head in space. In this sensory area, too, hallucinations can occur: the diseased person feels how he is suddenly tossed into the air, how he is turned to the right or to the left, and so on." Vertigo occurring in the context of epilepsy has been reported at least since the 18th century. It is open to debate whether a distinction between 'true' vertigo and a 'hallucinated' type of vertigo can be made on phenomenological grounds, since vertigo has itself been traditionally conceptualized as a hallucinated feeling of disequilibrium, dizziness, or movement. A more fundamental objection to the concept of the vestibular hallucination stems from the argument that a subjective experience such as vertigo can never be imagined or 'unreal'. In philosophy this is known as the self-intimating aspect of sensory experiences. On the other hand, it would seem defendable to suggest that feelings of vertigo mediated by the vestibulo-cortical tracts or the temporal lobe's vestibular field, for example, are etiologically different from vertigo due to vestibular or ocular disturbances and that the former might therefore be set apart as a 'central' or 'hallucinated' variant of the latter. Moreover, it has been suggested that centrally mediated vertigo tends to consist of 'pure' vertigo, in contradistinction to labyrinthine vertigo, which is more often accompanied by nystagmus and vegetative symptoms such as nausea and perspiration. Pathophysiologically, vestibular hallucinations are associated primarily with aberrant neuronal discharges in the middle and posterior gyrus temporalis superior and with such discharges in or around the sulcus interparietalis. Vestibular hallucinations occurring in the context of epilepsy are traditionally referred to as a vertiginous seizure, vestibular seizure, or vertigo epileptica. A syndrome involving vestibular hallucinations, complex involuntary movements, and * scenic hallucinations is known as Zingerle syndrome or * Zingerle's automatosis.ReferencesBehrmann, S., Wyke, B.D. (1958). Vestibulo-genic seizures. A consideration of vertiginous seizures, with particular reference to convulsions produced by stimulation of labyrinthine receptors. Brain, 81, 529-541.Karbowski, K. (1982). Auditive und vestibuläre Halluzinationen.In: Halluzinationen bei Epilepsien und ihre Differentialdiagnose. Edited by Karbowski, K. Bern: Verlag Hans Huber.Ziehen, Th. (1911). Psychiatrie. Für Ärzte und Studierende bearbeitet. Vierte, vollständig umgearbeitete Auflage. Leipzig: Verlag von S. Hirzel.
Dictionary of Hallucinations. J.D. Blom. 2010.