The term scierneuropsia comes from the Greek words skieros (shady), neuron (nerve), and opsis (seeing). It was introduced in or shortly before 1958 by the American psychiatrist and psychoanalyst Peter A. Martin to denote a psychogenic visual symptom in which perceived objects and stimuli lack their usual brightness, and thus appear to be in a shadow. Martin describes sci-erneuropsia in analogy with the ophthalmologic definition of "scieropia as a persistent, disturbing difficulty in seeing objects as vividly as they had appeared before. As he asserts, "Patients described their visual disturbance in terms of light perception. They stated that objects now appeared dim, that brightness was no longer present. They felt that more light was needed to see the objects, which appeared as ifseen through a screen or a veil or as if in a shadow." The reason for Martin to coin the term scierneurop-sia was that he envisaged the symptom as exclusively psychogenic in nature and that he wished to distinguish it from a phenomenologically similar symptom with an organic etiology, known as " obscuration. In Martin's opinion, scierneurop-sia may occur quite regularly under physiological circumstances, notably upon awakening. According to him this physiological " hypnopompic phenomenon tends to be transient in nature. He regards persistent cases of scierneuropsia as pathological. As he explains in psychoanalytic fashion, "The patients with scierneuropsia struggle with a symptom arising from a hallucination of a visual screen. This screen expresses a wish to return to a state of sleep as a needed barrier between themselves and reality. The barrier is needed to prevent an outburst of unneutral-ized aggressive energy, of anal- or oral-sadistic origin." Scierneuropsia may be classified as a variant of " sensory conversion. Phenomenologi-cally, it shows certain similarities to scieropia and " hemeralopia (i.e. day blindness).
   Martin, P.A. (1960). On scierneuropsia - A previously unnamed psychogenic visual disturbance. Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 8, 71-81.

Dictionary of Hallucinations. . 2010.

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  • scieropia —    The term scieropia comes from the Greek words skieros (shady) and opsis (seeing). It translates as shady sight or shady eye . The term is used to denote a visual symptom in which perceived objects and stimuli lack their usual brightness and… …   Dictionary of Hallucinations

  • achromatopsia —    Also referred to as monochromatism, monochromatopsia, and total colour blindness. The term achromatopsia comes from the Greek words achromatos (colourless) and opsis (seeing). It refers to the inability or strongly diminished ability to… …   Dictionary of Hallucinations

  • hemeralopia —    Also known as hemeralopsia and day blindness. The term hemeralopia comes from the Greek words hèmera (day), alaos (blind), and ops (eye). It was introduced into the biomedical literature during the 18th century to denote an ocular condition… …   Dictionary of Hallucinations

  • obscuration —    The term obscuration comes from the Latin adjective obscurus, which means dark. It translates as darkening . The term is used to denote a transient loss of visual perception. Such losses of visual perception typically last no longer than a few …   Dictionary of Hallucinations

  • sensory conversion —    A term that has historically had a variety of meanings and connotations, most of which revolve around the notion of a pathological process by means of which anxiety, generated by an intrapsychic conflict, is unconsciously transformed into an… …   Dictionary of Hallucinations

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