Claims have been made that epilepsy is associated with both brief psychotic episodes and persistent psychotic states. The existence of brief, nonconfusional psychotic episodes in epilepsy has received some formal support; these may be a function of temporal lobe subictal activity. Persistent psychosis is found in about 7% of patients with epilepsy; independent evidence indicates this to be a significant association. Temporal lobe seizure activity, again probably acting subictally, may be involved in the pathogenesis of these states, perhaps in interaction with other factors. Occurrence of psychotic syndromes in epilepsy may be relevant to kindling, atypical psychoses unrelated to epilepsy, and the psychotropic effect of carbamazepine.