presque vu phenomenon

presque vu phenomenon
   Presque vu is French for 'almost seen'. The term has traditionally been used to denote the subjective feeling of being on the verge of some thorough insight or epiphany. From 1928 onwards it was used by the German-American biological psychologist and philosopher Heinrich Klüver (1897-1979) to denote a visual experience which may arise during a mescaline intoxication, and which was described by him as follows: "The phenomena and events in the visual field point in a certain direction; that is, they suggest an end which is not quite reached, or they lack the proper completion... A form, a movement, a pattern, etc. is almost complete, but since it never becomes entirely completed, a highly characteristic presque vu experience arises." The tantalizing sense of incompleteness that is presque vu is reported as being of such an overwhelming nature that subjects who experience it are inclined to attach a special or even 'cosmic' meaning to it. Pathophys-iologically, presque vu experiences are associated primarily with aberrant neurophysiological activity within the temporal lobe and attributed primarily to paroxysmal neurological disorders such as migraine and temporal lobe epilepsy. Presque vu is conceptualized as related to the *déjà experiences. The term is used in opposition to the terms * déjà vu (already seen) and * jamais vu (never seen).
   Critchley, M. (1949). Metamorphopsia of central origin. Transactions of the Ophthalmologic Society of the UK, 69, 111-121.
   Critchley, M. (1953). The parietal lobes. London: Edward Arnold & Co.
   Klüver, H. (1966). Mescal and Mechanisms ofhallucinations. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.

Dictionary of Hallucinations. . 2010.

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