ganglionic illusion

   The term ganglionic illusion is indebted to the Greek noun gagglion (i.e. ganglion), which refers to a collection of nerve cells acting as a centre of neurotransmission. It was introduced in or shortly before 1832 by the French alienist Jean-Etienne Dominique Esquirol (1772-1840) to denote an *illusion based on a misinterpretation rather than a misperception of perceptual stimuli and objects. Some examples of gan-glionic illusions are cases in which pebbles are held for gems or pieces of simple metal for silver or gold. Esquirol uses the term ganglionic illusion in opposition to the term *illusion of the senses. Conceptually as well as phenomeno-logically, Esquirol's notion of ganglionic illusion would seem to be compatible with the notion of * delirium of judgment as defined by the Russian psychiatrist Victor Kandinsky (1849-1889). Judging by the examples given by Esquirol, ganglionic illusions would today probably be designated as delusions rather than illusions.
   Esquirol, J.-E.D. (1965). Mental maladies. A treatise on insanity. A facsimile ofthe English edition of 1845. Translated by Hunt, E.K. New York, NY: Hafner Publishing Company.
   Kandinsky, V. (1885). Kritische und klinische Betrachtungen im Gebiete der Sinnestäuschungen. Erste und zweite Studie. Berlin: Verlag von Friedländer und Sohn.

Dictionary of Hallucinations. . 2010.

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