July 1958

Hallucination as an Ego Experience

Author Affiliations

Syracuse, N. Y.; Philadelphia

AMA Arch NeurPsych. 1958;80(1):93-97. doi:10.1001/archneurpsyc.1958.02340070111018

Like any psychiatric phenomenon, hallucinations can be examined and studied in a variety of ways. Many writers, most notably Bleuler, have presented detailed descriptions of them. Others have debated the issue of images of special intensity vs. perceptions. Theories have been propounded to explain their origin, and these have ranged from oversensitivity of certain areas of the brain to disowned wishes returning in disguised form and as though they arose from an outside source. Content has been scrutinized in terms of superego activity and as an attempt to reestablish object relationships. The attention of clinicians has been engaged by the significance of a cultural norm in determining what is and what is not a hallucination. The prognostic implication has also been a matter of interest. While this by no means is a complete list, it indicates the diversity of approaches to this subject.

The purpose of this article is to