Autoscopic phenomena and one’s own body representation in dreams

Consciousness and Cognition 20 (4):1009-1015 (2011)
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Abstract

Autoscopic phenomena are complex experiences that include the visual illusory reduplication of one’s own body. From a phenomenological point of view, we can distinguish three conditions: autoscopic hallucinations, heautoscopy, and out-of-body experiences. The dysfunctional pattern involves multisensory disintegration of personal and extrapersonal space perception. The etiology, generally either neurological or psychiatric, is different. Also, the hallucination of Self and own body image is present during dreams and differs according to sleep stage. Specifically, the representation of the Self in REM dreams is frequently similar to the perception of Self in wakefulness, whereas in NREM dreams, a greater polymorphism of Self and own body representation is observed. The parallels between autoscopic phenomena in pathological cases and the Self-hallucination in dreams will be discussed to further the understanding of the particular states of self awareness, especially the complex integration of different memory sources in Self and body representation

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