- illusional emotion
- A term introduced in or shortly before 1959 by the Canadian neuroscientists Wilder Graves Penfield (1891-1976) and Sean Francis Mullan (b. 1925) to denote a feeling of fear, loneliness, sorrow, or disgust, occurring in the context of a " psychical state, and described by the affected individuals as "independent of themselves", i.e. unrelated to their conscious thoughts and feelings. Penfield and Mullan classify illusional emotions as " psychical illusions, which are themselves classified as "psychical states (i.e. "aurae occurring in the wake of an epileptic seizure or during a cortical probing experiment). In this specific context the term illusional emotion is used in opposition to the terms "auditory illusion, "visual illusion, "illusion of recognition, and a nameless remaining group containing relatively rare phenomena such as illusions of increased awareness, illusions of alteration in the speed of movement, and visuo-vestibular disturbances. For at least two reasons, it is debatable whether illusional emotions merit classification as "illusions. In the first place, illusional emotions are emotional as opposed to perceptual phenomena. Moreover the very concept of an illusional emotion would appear to be in contradiction with the philosophical argument that a subjective experience such as an emotion cannot be imagined or 'unreal'. In philosophy this is known as the self-intimating aspect of emotions. As a consequence, Penfield and Mullan's notion of illusional emotion can perhaps be best described as a true emotion evoked in the extraordinary context of an aura, and therefore not directly related to the life of the affected individual outside this context.ReferencesKripke, S. (1980). Naming and necessity.Cam-bridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Mullan, S., Penfield, W. (1959). Illusion of comparative interpretation and emotion. Archives ofNeurology and Psychiatry, 81, 269-284.
Dictionary of Hallucinations. J.D. Blom. 2010.