Skip to main content

Notes on Hallucinations. III

  • Conolly Norman

The theories by which it has been endeavoured to explain the existence of hallucinations are manifold. In this field, as in so many others where we watch the play of mental phenomena, our point of view varies from time to time, so that the explanations which were once deemed more or less satisfactory become unmeaning when the problem to be solved has itself shifted ground.

Hide All


(1) Esquirol, Des maladies mentales, 1838, tome i, pp. 159, 191, 192, 201.

(2) Dagonet, Traite des maladies mentales, 1894, p. 63.

(3) Ball, Leçons sur les maladies mentales, pp. in and 112.

(4) Tumburini, Revue scientifique, 1881.

(5) Kandinsky, Kritische und klinische Betrachtungen im Gebiete der Sinnestäuschungen, 1885, p. 148.

(6) Max Simon defines hallucination thus :—“A sensory perception without an external object to give it birth” (compare Ball, “A perception without an object,” Leçonsur les maladies mentales, deux, éd., p. 62; and Bianchi, “A subjective perception,” Trattato di Psichiatria, p. 200). In another place Simon asks, “What is an hallucination in point of fact?” and answers, “A sensation which runs along a sensory nerve ina direction the reverse of normal impressions” (Le monde des réves,deux, éd., pp. 72, 93, 103). Simon does not claim originality for this view, which he says was entertained by Morel, who again followed Buchez. I have not been able to verify the reference to Morel, which is rather vague; but elsewhere that author says, “I reject none of the definitions of hallucination; I give my adhesion to none” (Maladies mentales, deux, tome, p. 472).

(7) Maury, Le sommeil et les réves, quatrième éd., p. 78, cf. Bail, Maladies mentales, p. 64.

(8) Séglas, “Les hallucinations unilatèrales,"Annales mèdico-psychologiques8,me sèrieto,me 6me, p. 230.

(9) Baillarger, Des hallucinations, etc., 1846, pp. 385 et seq.

(10) Sèglas,Leçonscliniques sur les maladies mentales, 1895, pp. 13 et seq. ; Troubles du langage chez les aliènè1s8,92, pp. HT et seq.; and several earlier papers referred to in these works. Sèglasrefers to the fact that Fournie and Max Simon (see the work above quoted, p. 103) had regarded these conditions as disturbances of the function of language, and that Lèluthad already suspected this connection.

(11) Lugaro, “Sulle Pseudo allucinazioni (Allucinazioni Psichiche di Baillarger),” Riv. di Pat. Nerv, e Mentale, Genn. e Febb., 1903.

(12) Lugaro, op. cit., “It is probable that this fundamental disturbance depends on an elective and systematic lesion of special cortical neurons. The system engaged cannot be either sensory or motor, because the sensibility and the motor capacity are intact ; nor can it be a system set apart for the association of images, because the memory and ideation are preserved ; the lesion must therefore engage a system of neurons set apart for the supreme co-ordination between representations, the corresponding emotions, and the execution of acts.”

(13) Cramer, “Ueber Sinnestäuschungen bei Geisteskranken Taubstummen,” Archiv, f. Psych., Band xxviii, s. 875.

(14) Exemplified in a case at present under my care, in which a female patient who suffers from auditory hallucinations hears in her right ear the voice of her priest comforting her, and in her left the voice of the devil tempting her and suggesting suicide and despair.

Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

The British Journal of Psychiatry
  • ISSN: -
  • EISSN: 2514-9946
  • URL: /core/journals/the-british-journal-of-psychiatry
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *


Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 3 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 11 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between 19th February 2018 - 21st June 2018. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Notes on Hallucinations. III

  • Conolly Norman
Submit a response


No eLetters have been published for this article.


Reply to: Submit a response

Your details

Conflicting interests

Do you have any conflicting interests? *