The demystification of autoscopic phenomena: experimental propositions
Autoscopic phenomena (AP) are rare, illusory visual experiences during which the subject has the impression of seeing a second own body in extrapersonal space. AP consist of out-of-body experience, autoscopic hallucination, and heautoscopy. Recent neurologic reports support the role of multisensory integration deficits of body-related information and vestibular dysfunctions in AP at the temporo-parietal junction. A caveat to test the underlying neurologic and cognitive mechanisms of AP has been their rare and spontaneous occurrence. Recent evidence linked AP to mental own-body imagery engaging brain mechanisms at the temporo-parietal junction. These recent observations open a new avenue for testing AP-related cognitive mechanisms in selected clinical and normal populations. We review evidence on several clinical syndromes (psychosis, depression, anxiety, depersonalization, body dysmorphic disorder), suggesting that some of these syndromes may relate to AP-proneness, thereby leading to testable propositions for future research on body and self processing in addition to AP.
Record created on 2010-11-16, modified on 2016-08-08