The sensed presence as right hemispheric intrusions into the left hemispheric awareness of self: an illustrative case study

Percept Mot Skills. 1994 Jun;78(3 Pt 1):999-1009. doi: 10.2466/pms.1994.78.3.999.


The hypothesis of vectorial hemisphericity predicts that left hemispheric intrusions of the right hemispheric equivalent of the sense of self should be associated with the experience of a "presence" of someone else. The neurophenomenological profile of a woman whose medical history satisfied these theoretical criteria (verified electrical anomalies that could encourage phasic discharges within the right temporal lobe and atrophy within the left temporoparietal region) is presented. In addition to interactions between electrical seizures and thinking, she reported a long history of sensed presences, ego-alien intrusions, and "sudden knowing of the subsequent sequences of seizures" before they occurred clinically. The existence of these neurocognitive processes demands a reevaluation of the psychiatric default explanations of "hysteria" and questions the belief that "awareness during seizures" or "premonition of subsequent somatosensory experience" contraindicates an epileptic process.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Attention / physiology*
  • Awareness / physiology*
  • Consciousness / physiology*
  • Delusions / physiopathology*
  • Dominance, Cerebral / physiology*
  • Epilepsy, Temporal Lobe / physiopathology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Neurologic Examination
  • Neurons / physiology
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Synaptic Transmission / physiology
  • Temporal Lobe / physiopathology
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed