The sensed presence within experimental settings: implications for the male and female concept of self

J Psychol. 2003 Jan;137(1):5-16. doi: 10.1080/00223980309600595.


The sense of "a presence" or of a sentient being during partial sensory deprivation and exposure to very weak, complex magnetic fields across the cerebral hemispheres may be a normal neurocognitive experience that is associated with the brief intrusion of the right hemispheric homologue of the left hemispheric (and strongly linguistic) sense of self into awareness. Within an optimal experimental setting, women reported more frequent experiences of a sensed presence than did men, and men were more likely than women to consider these experiences as "intrusions" from extrapersonal or ego-alien sources. Both effects were predicted by the vectorial hemisphericity hypothesis and the known neurocognitive differences between right-handed men and right-handed women. Sociobiological implications for gender differences in the probability of intercalation between distinctive processes within the left and right temporoparietal lobes are discussed.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Self Concept*
  • Sex Factors
  • Surveys and Questionnaires