conversive hallucination
   Also known as conversion hallucination. Both terms are used to denote a hallucination attributed to * sensory conversion. Sensory conversion is conceptualized as an unconscious process by means of which anxiety, generated by an intrapsychical conflict, is transformed into a perceptual symptom. Conversive symptoms are by definition suggestive of a neurological disorder, although upon state-of-the-art clinical examination they remain inexplicable. The term conversive hallucination is traditionally used in opposition to the term *psychotic hallucination, so as to emphasize its purportedly non-psychotic origin. Although the conceptual distinction between conversive and psychotic hallucinations is not self-evident, it has been claimed that conversive hallucinations are relatively rare, and that they tend to occur in the form of recurring *complex visual, *scenic, and/or *auditory hallucinations depicting prior experiences from the affected individual's life, especially when these are emotionally charged. In older, clinical studies, conversive hallucinations are reported in up to 88% of the individuals with a clinical diagnosis of hysteria. Classical examples of conversive hallucinations include those depicting a previously witnessed traumatic scene, those re-enacting prior physical or sexual abuse, and those depicting a fervently wished-for, but practically impossible situation (such as the wish for a relationship with a married person, or with a person of the same sex). Explanatory models for the mediation of conversive hallucinations tend to revolve around the notion of * dissociation with restricted awareness, meaning that percepts that would normally be appreciated as endogenous or imaginary in nature, are considered real because of a certain misinterpretation and/or misperception, which is in turn attributed to a restricted awareness. A competing model to these 'dissociative' models is the cognitive model, which attributes the mediation of conversive hallucinations to the so-called extension ofthoughts to images, known in the older literature as *perceptualization of the concept. Conversive hallucinations are generally classified as *psychogenic hallucinations. Conceptually as well as phe-nomenologically, they would seem to display a certain similarity to Freud's * hallucinatory confusion.
   References
   Modai, I., Cygielman, G. (1986). Conversion hallucinations - A possible mental mechanism. Psychopathology, 19, 324-326.
   Sirota, P., Spivac, B., Meshulam, B. (1987). Con-versive hallucinations. British Journal ofPsy-chiatry, 151, 844-846.

Dictionary of Hallucinations. . 2010.

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  • psychogenic hallucination —    The term psychogenic hallucination is indebted to the medical Latin term * psychosis, which in turn comes from the Greek noun psuchosis (the giving of life, the process of animating). It translates loosely as a hallucination created by the… …   Dictionary of Hallucinations

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  • hysterical blindness —    Also known as conversive blindness. The term hysterical blindness is indebted to the term hysteria, which is in turn indebted to the Greek noun hustera (uterus). The term hysteria reflects the ancient conviction that some types of mental… …   Dictionary of Hallucinations

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