Chapter 23: Notes - Presence: The strange science and true stories of the unseen other (2023)



1. William James, The Varieties of Religious Experience (1904. Reprint Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, 2012), 51–52, italics original.

2. Ibid., 52.


1. A mackem refers to someone from Sunderland, in the northeast of England. It comes from the phrase “make’m and take’m,” a reference to Wearside’s shipbuilding past.

2. Estimates vary considerably for this statistic. For example, one review found a median rate of 13 percent, but included studies with estimates ranging from less than 1 percent to over 80 percent V. Beavan, J. Read, and C. Cartwright, “The Prevalence of Voice-Hearers in the General Population: A Literature Review,” Journal of Mental Health 20, no. 3 (2011): 281–292. Most studies, however, are in the 5–15 percent range—for a recent example, see M. M. J. Linszen, J. N. de Boer, M. J. L. Schutte, M. J. H. Begemann, J. de Vries, et al., “Occurrence and Phenomenology of Hallucinations in the General Population: A Large Online Survey,” Schizophrenia 8, no. 1 (2022): 1–11.

3. The survey was first described and reported in Angela Woods, Nev Jones, Ben Alderson-Day, Felicity Callard, and Charles Fernyhough’s “Experiences of Hearing Voices: Analysis of a Novel Phenomenological Survey,” The Lancet Psychiatry , 2, no. 4 (April 1, 2015): 323–31.

4. B. Alderson-Day, A. Woods, P. Moseley, S. Common, F. Deamer, et al., “Voice-Hearing and Personification: Characterizing Social Qualities of Auditory Verbal Hallucinations in Early Psychosis,” Schizophrenia Bulletin 47, no. 1 (2021): 228–236.

5. Similarly, Bleuler’s concept of schizophrenia deemed hallucinations and delusion to be merely secondary characteristics, or “accessory symptoms.” Instead, he emphasized four concepts at the core of the disorder: disturbances of affect, association, ambivalence, and “autism” (understood specifically as a shutting off from the outside world rather than the concept of autism recognized today). Eugen Bleuler, Dementia Praecox or the Group of Schizophrenias , trans. J. Zinkin (New York: International Universities Press, 1950).

6. Karl Jaspers, General Psychopathology , trans. J. Hoenig and M. W. Hamilton (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1963), 577.

7. These included specific kinds of auditory hallucinations, such as voices conversing with each other about the subject; gedankenlautwerden , or hearing one’s thoughts spoken out loud; and passivity symptoms, or the feeling that someone else is controlling the subject, their body, or their thoughts. Kurt Schneider, Clinical Psychopathology (New York: Grune & Stratton, 1959).

8. An example of this is “SloMo” therapy for paranoid delusions; see P. Garety, T. Ward, R. Emsley, K. Greenwood, D. Freeman, et al., “Effects of SlowMo, a Blended Digital Therapy Targeting Reasoning, on Paranoia among People with Psychosis: A Randomized Clinical Trial,” JAMA Psychiatry 78, no. 7 (2021): 714–725.

9. Bleuler, Dementia Praecox , 111.

10. S. Wilkinson and V. Bell, “The Representation of Agents in Auditory Verbal Hallucinations,” Mind & Language 31, no. 1 (2016): 104–126.

11. For Jaspers, this was distinguished from gedankliche Bewusstheit , or an ideational awareness—a thought, rather than a feeling, that someone may be close by.

12. Translation from K. Koehler and H. Sauer, “Jaspers’ Sense of Presence in the Light of Huber’s Basic Symptoms and DSM-III,” Comprehensive Psychiatry 25, no. 2 (1984): 186.

13. M. Critchley, “The Idea of a Presence,” Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica 30, nos. 1–2 (1955): 155–168.

14. Bleuler’s work was not largely translated into English (with Dementia Praecox only translated into English in 1950), but some contemporary reviews of his work did appear in English journals at the time of his writing.

15. C. Norman, “Extracampine Hallucinations [Extracampine Hallucinationen]. (Psychiat. Neurolog. Wochensch., Sept. 19th, 1903.) Bleuler,” Journal of Mental Science 50, no. 210 (1904): 557–557.

16. G. Fénelon, T. Soulas, L. C. De Langavant, I. Trinkler, and A.-C. Bachoud-Lévi, “Feeling of Presence in Parkinson’s Disease,” Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery & Psychiatry 82, no. 11 (2011): 1219–1224.

17. Koehler and Sauer, “Jaspers’ Sense of Presence,” 186.


1. T. S. Eliot, The Wasteland and Other Poems (London: Faber & Faber, 1940), 45.

2. Paul Firth, “The Man Who Wasn’t There,” The Guardian , May 29, 2003, .

3. Shaun Barnett, “The Third Man,” Wilderness , September 3, 2011, .

4. Alex Shoumatoff, “Brotherhood of the Mountain,” Vanity Fair , October 10, 2006, .

5. P. Brugger, M. Regard, T. Landis, and O. Oelz, “Hallucinatory Experiences in Extreme-Altitude Climbers,” Neuropsychiatry Neuropsychology and Behavioral Neurology 12, no. 1 (1999): 67–71.

6. Beck Weathers, Left for Dead: My Journey Home From Everest (Boston, MA: Little, Brown & Company 2000), 51.

7. Peter Suedfeld and John Geiger, “The Sensed Presence as a Coping Resource in Extreme Environments,” in J. H. Ellens (Ed.), Miracles: God, Science, and Psychology in the Paranormal: Parapsychological Perspectives (Westport, CT: Praeger Publishers, 2008), 14.

8. Ernest Shackleton, South: The Endurance Expedition (London: Penguin, 2004), xxvi.

9. Ibid., 78.

10. Ibid., 95.

11. Crean had received a medal for saving the life of Edward Evans, which he had managed by walking solo for fifty-six kilometers across the Ross Ice Shelf.

12. Shackleton, South , 126.

13. Frank Worsley, Shackleton’s Boat Journey (Edinburgh, UK: Birlinn, 2000), 119.

14. Ibid., 121.

15. Ibid., 122.

16. Shackleton, South , 197.

17. Ibid., 135.

18. Ibid., 200.

19. Worlsey, Shackleton’s Boat Journey , 137.

20. Ibid., 203.

21. Michael Smith and Annie Brady, Tom Crean: Ice Man: The Adventures of an Antarctic Hero (Cork, Ireland: Collins Press, 2006), 278.

22. Earlier that morning they had briefly anchored about five miles from Punta Arenas at a cold storage works in Rio Seco. When Shackleton went ashore, he was reportedly welcomed by the foreman running down the jetty shouting, “Welcome Captain Scott!” The relationship between Shackleton and Scott was notoriously icy during this period. Roland Huntford, Shackleton (London: Time Warner Books UK, 1996), 624.

23. Shackleton, South , 193.

24. Huntford, Shackleton , 585.

25. Shackleton, South , 194.

26. Huntford, Shackleton , 669.

27. See for example D. Smailes, E. Burdis, C. Gregoriou, B. Fenton, and R. Dudley, “Pareidolia—Proneness, Reality Discrimination Errors, and Visual Hallucination-like Experiences in a Non-clinical Sample,” Cognitive Neuropsychiatry 25, no. 2 (2020): 113–125.

28. Shackleton, South , 126.

29. E.g., C. J. Dalenberg, B. L. Brand, D. H. Gleaves, M. J. Dorahy, R. J. Loewenstein, et al., “Evaluation of the Evidence for the Trauma and Fantasy Models of Dissociation,” Psychological Bulletin 138, no. 3 (2012): 550–588.

30. Harold Begbie, Shackleton: A Memory (London: Mills & Boon, 1922).

31. Shackleton, South , 204.


1. A. M. Burton and R. Jenkins, “Unfamiliar Face Perception,” Oxford Handbook of Face Perception 28 (2011): 287–306.

2. A. Grimby, “Bereavement among Elderly People: Grief Reactions, Postbereavement Hallucinations and Quality of Life,” Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica 87, no. 1 (1993): 72–80.

3. The condition takes its name from Leopoldo Fregoli, an Italian actor from the 1920s and 1930s who was famous for his quick-change act.

4. John Geiger, The Third Man Factor: Surviving the Impossible (London: Canongate, 2009).

5. Wilder Penfield, The Mysteries of the Mind: A Critical Study of Consciousness and the Human Brain (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1975): 27.

6. P. Gloor, A. Olivier, L. F. Quesney, F. Andermann, and S. Horowitz, “The Role of the Limbic System in Experiential Phenomena of Temporal Lobe Epilepsy,” Annals of Neurology 12, no. 2 (1982): 129–144.

7. Y. Takeda, Y. Inoue, T. Tottori, and T. Mihara, “Acute Psychosis during Intracranial EEG monitoring: Close Relationship between Psychotic Symptoms and Discharges in Amygdala,” Epilepsia 42, no. 6 (2001): 720.

8. For an example of this work, see M. Persinger et al., “The Electromagnetic Induction of Mystical and Altered States within the Laboratory,” Journal of Consciousness Exploration & Research 1, no. 7 (2010): 808–830.

9. A.-M. Landtblom, “The ‘Sensed Presence’: An Epileptic Aura with Religious Overtones,” Epilepsy & Behavior 9, no. 1 (2006): 186.

10. Ibid., 187.

11. A.-M. Landtblom, H. Lindehammar, and H. Karlsson, “Insular Cortex Activation in a Patient with ‘Sensed Presence’/Ecstatic Seizures,” Epilepsy & Behavior 20, no. 4 (2011): 714–718.

12. M. Gschwind and F. Picard, “Ecstatic Epileptic Seizures: A Glimpse into the Multiple Roles of the Insula,” Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience 17 (2016): Article 21.

13. R. Michelucci, P. Riguzzi, G. Rubboli, L. Volpi, E. Pasini, et al., “Postictal Hyperfamiliarity for Unknown Faces,” Epilepsy & Behavior 19, no. 3 (2010): 518–521.

14. August Strindberg, The Inferno (New York: G. P. Putnam’s Sons, Knickerbocker Press, 1913), .

15. Sue Prideaux, Strindberg: A Life (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2013, electronic edition), 382.

16. Karl Jaspers, Strindberg & Van Gogh, trans. O. Grunow & D. Woloshin (Tucson, AZ: University of Arizona Press, 1977).

17. P. Brugger, M. Regard, and T. Landis, “Illusory Reduplication of One’s Own Body: Phenomenology and Classification of Autoscopic Phenomena,” Cognitive Neuropsychiatry 2, no. 1 (1997): 23.

18. P. Brugger, “Hostile Interactions between Body and Self,” Dialogues in Clinical Neuroscience 9, no. 2 (2007): 210–213.

19. Intriguingly, Fyodor Dostoevsky was also epileptic, although accounts of his auras tend to center around ecstatic experiences rather than felt presences or autoscopic phenomena. See I. Iniesta, “Epilepsy in the Process of Artistic Creation of Dostoevsky,” Neurología (English Edition) 29, no. 6 (2014): 371–378.

20. E. Bisiach and C. Luzzatti, “Unilateral Neglect of Representational Space,” Cortex 14, no. 1 (1978): 129–133.

21. P. Brugger, O. Blanke, M. Regard, D. T. Bradford, and T. Landis, “Polyopic Heautoscopy: Case Report and Review of the Literature,” Cortex 42, no. 5 (2006): 669.

22. F. Picard, “Epileptic Feeling of Multiple Presences in the Frontal Space,” Cortex 46, no. 8 (2010): 1037–1042.


1. Rufus & Chaka Khan, “Ain’t Nobody,” track 14 on Stompin’ at the Savoy—Live , Warner (1983).

2. Nunataks are peaks of mountains that push through the ice sheet, appearing as small hills on the landscape.

3. Kevin Macdonald, director, Touching the Void (Filmfour, 2007), DVD.

4. I. Pollack and J. M. Pickett, “Cocktail Party Effect,” Journal of the Acoustical Society of America 29, no. 11 (1957): Article 1262.

5. For a review, see F. Waters, V. Chiu, A. Atkinson, and J. D. Blom, “Severe Sleep Deprivation Causes Hallucinations and a Gradual Progression toward Psychosis with Increasing Time Awake,” Frontiers in Psychiatry 9 (2018): Article 303.

6. Huntford, Shackleton , 634.

7. Begbie, Shackleton , 11.

8. Ibid., 48.


1. S. Arzy, M. Seeck, S. Ortigue, L. Spinelli, and O. Blanke, “Induction of an Illusory Shadow Person,” Nature 443, no. 7109 (2006): 287.

2. D. S. Margulies, S. S. Ghosh, A. Goulas, M. Falkiewicz, J. M. Huntenburg, et al., “Situating the Default-Mode Network Along a Principal Gradient of Macroscale Cortical Organization,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 113, no. 44 (2016): 12574–12579.

3. O. Blanke, C. Mohr, C. M. Michel, A. Pascual-Leone, P. Brugger, et al., “Linking Out-of-Body Experience and Self Processing to Mental Own-Body Imagery at the Temporoparietal Junction,” Journal of Neuroscience 25, no. 3 (2005): 550–557.

4. M. Botvinick and J. Cohen, “Rubber Hands ‘Feel’ Touch That Eyes See,” Nature 391, no. 756 (1998).

5. O. Blanke, P. Pozeg, M. Hara, L. Heydrich, A. Serino, et al., “Neurological and Robot-Controlled Induction of an Apparition,” Current Biology 24, no. 22 (2014): 2681–2686.

6. M. Costantini, “Body Perception, Awareness, and Illusions,” WIREs Cognitive Science 5, no. 5 (2014): 551–560.

7. The procedure was evaluated across three experiments; the first did not include any direct questions about presence. Blanke and colleagues then added two specific felt presence options to choose: “I felt as if someone else was touching my body” and “I felt as if someone was standing behind my body.” Along with the majority of participants reporting presence when the robot touches were delayed, no differences were observed for other suggestible statements that were included as controls (e.g., “I felt as if I had no body”). See Blanke et al., “Neurological and Robot-Controlled,” 2014.

8. Blanke and colleagues have explicitly framed felt presence as a kind of passivity experience (i.e., an experience relating to a lack of control over one’s own thoughts and actions), which have historically been grouped as part of Kurt Schneider’s first-rank symptoms of schizophrenia.


1. D. Chan and M. N. Rossor, “‘—But Who Is That on the Other Side of You?’ Extracampine Hallucinations Revisited,” The Lancet 360, no. 9350 (2002): 2065.

2. G. Fénelon, F. Mahieux, R. Huon, and M. Ziégler, “Hallucinations in Parkinson’s Disease: Prevalence, Phenomenology and Risk Factors,” Brain 123, no. 4 (2000): 733–745.

3. Ibid., 735.

4. B. Ravina, K. Marder, H. H. Fernandez, J. H. Friedman, W. McDonald, et al., “Diagnostic Criteria for Psychosis in Parkinson’s Disease: Report of an NINDS, NIMH Work Group,” Movement Disorders 22, no. 8 (2007): 1061–1068.

5. G. Fénelon, T. Soulas, L. C. De Langavant, I. Trinkler, and A.-C. Bachoud-Lévi, “Feeling of Presence in Parkinson’s Disease,” Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery & Psychiatry 82, no. 11 (2011): 1219–1224.

6. R. A. Wood, S. A. Hopkins, K. K. Moodley, and D. Chan, “Fifty Percent Prevalence of Extracampine Hallucinations in Parkinson’s Disease Patients,” Frontiers in Neurology 6 (2015): Article 263.

7. T. Pringsheim, N. Jette, A. Frolkis, and T. D. L. Steeves, “The Prevalence of Parkinson’s Disease: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis,” Movement Disorders 29, no. 13 (2014): 1583–1590.

8. A. H. V. Schapira, M. Emre, P. Jenner, and W. J. E. J. O. N. Poewe, “Levodopa in the Treatment of Parkinson’s Disease,” European Journal of Neurology 16, no. 9 (2009): 982–989.

9. G. G. Celesia and A. N. Barr, “Psychosis and Other Psychiatric Manifestations of Levodopa Therapy,” Archives of Neurology 23, no. 3 (1970): 193–200.

10. “Review: Frank Ormsby— The Parkinson’s Poems ,” Lagan Online, October 11, 2016, .

11. Frank Ormsby, The Parkinson’s Poems (Edinburgh, UK: Mariscat Press, 2016), 13.

12. Ibid., 18.

13. For a discussion of this topic, see D. Fytche, B. Creese, M. Politis, K. Chaudhuri, D. Weintraub, et al., “The Psychosis Spectrum in Parkinson Disease,” Nature Reviews Neurology 13, no. 2 (2017): 81–95.

14. M. M. J. Linszen, G. A. Van Zanten, R. J. Teunisse, R. M. Brouwer, P. Scheltens, and I. E. Sommer, “Auditory Hallucinations in Adults with Hearing Impairment: A Large Prevalence Study,” Psychological Medicine 49, no. 1 (2019): 132–139.

15. For a recent example, see K. Maijer, M. J. Begemann, S. J. Palmen, S. Leucht, and I. E. Sommer, “Auditory Hallucinations across the Lifespan: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis,” Psychological Medicine 48, no. 6 (2018): 879–888.

16. G. Schultz and R. Melzack, “The Charles Bonnet Syndrome: ‘Phantom Visual Images.’” Perception 20, no. 6 (1991): 809.

17. This estimate is according to the Macular Society (The Macular Society, “Charles Bonnet Syndrome,” accessed August 15, 2022, /).

18. B. Alderson-Day, A. Woods, P. Moseley, S. Common, F. Deamer, et al., “Voice-Hearing and Personification: Characterizing Social Qualities of Auditory Verbal Hallucinations in Early Psychosis,” Schizophrenia Bulletin 47, no. 1 (2021): 228–236.

19. Wood et al., “Fifty Percent Prevalence.”

20. E. Reckner, L. Cipolotti, and J. A. Foley, “Presence Phenomena in Parkinsonian Disorders: Phenomenology and Neuropsychological Correlates,” International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry 35, no. 7 (2020): 785–793.

21. Ibid., 798.

22. Executive function refers to tricky tests that require you to plan ahead, hold information in mind temporarily, and control impulses.

23. S. Schneider Williams, “The Terrorist Inside My Husband’s Brain,” Neurology 87, no. 13 (2016): 1308–1311.

24. Lewy body disease or Lewy body dementia are terms used to refer to DLB and Parkinson’s disease dementia (PDD) collectively. DLB is used specifically for when symptoms of dementia have a rapid onset prior to signs of Parkinsonism, whereas the order of symptoms is reversed in PDD.

25. Schneider Williams, “The Terrorist,” 1310.

26. John Matthias, “Living with a Visionary,” New Yorker , January 25, 2021, .

27. H. Y. Meltzer, R. Mills, S. Revell, H. Williams, A. Johnson, et al., “Pimavanserin, a Serotonin2A Receptor Inverse Agonist, for the Treatment of Parkinson’s Disease Psychosis,” Neuropsychopharmacology 35, no. 4 (2010): 881–892.

28. J. Cummings, S. Isaacson, R. Mills, H. Williams, K. Chi-Burris, et al., “Pimavanserin for Patients with Parkinson’s Disease Psychosis: A Randomised, Placebo-Controlled Phase 3 Trial,” The Lancet 383, no. 9916 (2014): 533–540.

29. K. Y. Liu and R. Howard, “Pimavanserin and Dementia-Related Psychosis: Can HARMONY Prevail?” The Lancet Neurology 20, no. 10 (2021): 783–784.

30. Parkinson’s UK, “Further Evidence on the Benefits of Pimavanserin,” September 25, 2017, .

31. For an example of this, see C. G. Goetz, C. L. Vaughan, J. G. Goldman, and G. T. Stebbins, “I Finally See What You See: Parkinson’s Disease Visual Hallucinations Captured with Functional Neuroimaging,” Movement Disorders 29, no. 1 (2014): 115–117.

32. A. Zarkali, R. A. Adams, S. Psarras, L.-A. Leyland, G. Rees, and R. S. Weil, “Increased Weighting on Prior Knowledge in Lewy Body-Associated Visual Hallucinations,” Brain Communications 1, no. 1 (2019): Article fcz007.

33. .

34. For overviews of this idea, see Andy Clark, Surfing uncertainty: Prediction, action, and the embodied mind (Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, 2015), or Jakob Hohwy, The Predictive Mind (Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, 2013).

35. Anil Seth. 2017. “Your brain hallucinates your conscious reality.” Filmed July 2017. TED video, 17:00. .

36. C. Teufel, N. Subramaniam, V. Dobler, J. Perez, J. Finnemann, et al., “Shift toward Prior Knowledge Confers a Perceptual Advantage in Early Psychosis and Psychosis-Prone Healthy Individuals,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 112, no. 43 (2015): 13401–13406.


1. M. Dudoignon, R. Jardri, P. Basset, and R. Hurdiel, “Acute Sleep Deprivation and Hallucinations in Ultra-Endurance Runners: A Descriptive Analysis During the Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc,” International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance 11 (2016): S1–5.

2. T. Reilly and T. J. Walsh, “Physiological, Psychological and Performance Measures during an Endurance Record for Five-a-Side Soccer,” British Journal of Sports Medicine 15, no. 2 (1981): 122–128.

3. B. Alderson-Day, P. Moseley, K. Mitrenga, J. Moffatt, R. Lee, et al., “Varieties of Felt Presence? Three Surveys of Presence Phenomena and Their Relations to Psychopathology,” Psych Medicine (2022): 1–9.

4. This quote was collected as part of the survey reported on in Ben Alderson-Day, Peter Moseley, Kaja Mitrenga, Jamie Moffatt, Rebecca Lee, John Foxwell, Jacqueline Hayes, David Smailes, and Charles Fernyhough’s “Varieties of felt presence? Three surveys of presence phenomena and their relations to psychopathology.” Psych Medicine (2022): 1–9.

5. This type of experience is sometimes referred to as hallucinosis , when one is aware that they are hallucinating.

6. Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, Beyond Boredom and Anxiety (San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass Publishers, 1975).

7. For a discussion of such experiences see Maria Coffey, Explorers of the Infinite: The Secret Spiritual Lives of Extreme Athletes—And What They Reveal about Near-Death Experiences, Psychic Communication, and Touching the Beyond (London: Penguin, 2008).

8. L. Feldman Barrett, How Emotions Are Made: The Secret Life of the Brain (New York: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2017).


1. The monks reportedly tend not to speak of their experiences during the runs, although an aim of the activity is to become one with Fudo Myo-o, the “Unshakable King of Light,” an incarnation of Buddha Dainichi. According to John Stevens, author of The Marathon Monks of Mount Hiei (Brattleboro, VT: Echo Point Books and Media, 1988), this is associated with directly perceiving Fudo as a “living force” whose energy can be drawn upon during the run. Only those who have had the experience recognize it in others who have also run: “You have seen him, haven’t you? Now you have the look of a real marathon monk!” (Ibid., 95).

2. M. G. Carbone, G. Pagni, M. Maiello, C. Tagliarini, L. Pratali, et al., “Misperceptions and Hallucinatory Experiences in Ultra-Trailer, High-Altitude Runners,” Rivista di Psichiatria 55, no. 3 (2020): 186.

3. Paul Burgum, Jumping the Cliff to Simply Be: A Solo Walk Across Italy (Stockton, UK: Sixth Element Publishing, 2016), 59.

4. For a discussion of this issue, see P. Lamont, “Spiritualism and a Mid-Victorian Crisis of Evidence,” Historical Journal 47, no. 4 (2004): 897–920.

5. Ibid., 58.

6. e.g. M. P. Buman, J. W. Omli, P. R. Giacobbi, Jr., and B. W. Brewer, “Experiences and Coping Responses of ‘Hitting the Wall’ for Recreational Marathon Runners,” Journal of Applied Sport Psychology 20, no. 3 (2008): 282–300. “Sometimes I focus on a runner near me or ahead of me and hope that that runner can pull me through. I don’t think these strategies really get you through the wall—when it’s there it’s there to stay—but it does help you keep up a faster pace than if you continue to think about how miserable you feel, in which case you will just keep going slower and slower” (ibid., 292).


1. J. M. Pearce, “Clinical Features of the Exploding Head Syndrome,” Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery & Psychiatry 52, no. 7 (1989): 907–910.

2. F. Waters, J. D. Blom, T. T. Dang-Vu, A. J. Cheyne, B. Alderson-Day, et al., “What Is the Link between Hallucinations, Dreams, and Hypnagogic–Hypnopompic Experiences?” Schizophrenia Bulletin , 42, no. 5 (2016): 1098–1109.

3. B. A. Sharpless, “Exploding Head Syndrome,” Sleep Medicine Reviews 18, no. 6 (2014): 489–493.

4. Waters et al., “What Is the Link.”

5. B. A. Sharpless and J. P. Barber, “Lifetime Prevalence Rates of Sleep Paralysis: A Systematic Review,” Sleep Medicine Reviews 15, no. 5 (2011): 311–115.

6. W. Dement and N. Kleitman, “Cyclic Variations in EEG during Sleep and Their Relation to Eye Movements, Body Motility, and Dreaming,” Electroencephalography and Clinical Neurophysiology 9 (1957): 673–690.

7. F. Siclari, B. Baird, L. Perogamvros, G. Bernardi, J. J. LaRocque, et al., “The Neural Correlates of Dreaming,” Nature Neuroscience 20, no. 6 (2017): 872–878.

8. Y. Nir and G. Tononi, “Dreaming and the Brain from Phenomenology to Neurophysiology,” Trends in Cognitive Sciences 14, no. 2 (2010): 88–100.

9. Herman Melville, Moby-Dick (London, Penguin: 2003), 29.

10. Alderson-Day et al., “Varieties of Felt Presence?”

11. For reviews of the topic, see J. A. Cheyne, “The Ominous Numinous,” Journal of Consciousness Studies 8, nos. 5–7 (2001): 133–150, and Shelley R. Adler, Sleep Paralysis: Night-mares, Nocebos, and the Mind-Body Connection (New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 2011).

12. M. R. Pressman, “Factors That Predispose, Prime and Precipitate NREM Parasomnias in Adults: Clinical and Forensic Implications,” Sleep Medicine Reviews 11, no. 1 (2007): 5–30.

13. I. Arnulf, “Sleepwalking,” Current Biology 28, no. 22 (2018): R1288–R1289.

14. O. F. Aina and O. O. Famuyiwa, “Ogun Oru: A Traditional Explanation for Nocturnal Neuropsychiatric Disturbances among the Yoruba of Southwest Nigeria,” Transcultural Psychiatry 44, no. 1 (2007): 44–54.

15. J. F. R. De Sa and S. A. Mota-Rolim, “Sleep Paralysis in Brazilian Folklore and Other Cultures: A Brief Review,” Frontiers in Psychology 7 (2016): Article 1294.

16. Adler, Sleep Paralysis , 100.

17. Ibid., 101.

18. B. Jalal and V. S. Ramachandran, “Sleep Paralysis and ‘the Bedroom Intruder’: The Role of the Right Superior Parietal, Phantom Pain and Body Image Projection,” Medical Hypotheses 83, no. 6 (2014): 755–757.

19. G. D. Shukla, S. C. Sahu, R. P. Tripathi, and D. K. Gupta, “Phantom Limb: A Phenomenological Study,” British Journal of Psychiatry 141, no. 1 (1982): 54–58.

20. C. Marchetti and S. Della Sala, “Disentangling the Alien and Anarchic Hand,” Cognitive Neuropsychiatry 3, no. 3 (1998): 191–207.

21. J. A. Cheyne, S. D. Rueffer, and I. R. Newby-Clark, “Hypnagogic and Hypnopompic Hallucinations during Sleep Paralysis: Neurological and Cultural Construction of the Night-mare,” Consciousness and Cognition 8, no. 3 (1999): 319–337.

22. J. A. Cheyne and T. A. Girard, “Paranoid Delusions and Threatening Hallucinations: A Prospective Study of Sleep Paralysis Experiences,” Consciousness and Cognition 16, no. 4 (2007): 959–974.

23. D. Denis, “Relationships between Sleep Paralysis and Sleep Quality: Current Insights,” Nature and Science of Sleep 10 (2018): 355–367.

24. Cheyne and Girard, “Paranoid Delusions,” 961.

25. It has even been proposed that intrusions from REM into waking states could explain hallucinations during daytime, although the evidence from phenomenology and brain imaging studies suggests that they probably rely on different underlying processes. See Waters et al., “What Is the Link.”

26. See, for example, S. Guthrie, J. Agassi, K. R. Andriolo, D. Buchdahl, H. B. Earhart, et al., “A Cognitive Theory of Religion [and comments and reply],” Current Anthropology 21, no. 2 (1980): 181–203; and J. L. Barrett, “Exploring the Natural Foundations of Religion,” Trends in Cognitive Sciences 4, no. 1 (2000): 29–34.

27. Alderson-Day et al., “Varieties of Felt Presence?”

28. In fact, the idea that presence is about being watched has been one of the hypotheses put forward for presences more generally. A sense of anxiety, a chill in one’s spine, a heightened sense of awareness—being watched often seems to put us in the kind of bodily state that presences proliferate in. The psychologist Rupert Sheldrake has argued that we might have a capacity to tell when people are watching us. It isn’t generally accepted that there is empirical evidence for this phenomenon, but it isn’t hard to see why some people would seek to link the experience to felt presence. See for example R. Sheldrake, “The Sense of Being Stared At—Part 1: Is It Real or Illusory?” Journal of Consciousness Studies 12, no. 6 (2005): 10–31.

29. Cheyne, “The Ominous Numinous.”

30. T. Nielsen, “Felt Presence: Paranoid Delusion or Hallucinatory Social Imagery?” Consciousness and Cognition 16, no. 4, (2007): 975–983.

31. The project website can be found at .

32. For a recent example see S. Reeve, B. Sheaves, and D. Freeman, “Sleep Disorders in Early Psychosis: Incidence, Severity, and Association with Clinical Symptoms,” Schizophrenia Bulletin 45, no. 2 (2019): 287–295. For a review, see D. Denis, C. C. French, and A. M. Gregory, “A Systematic Review of Variables Associated with Sleep Paralysis,” Sleep Medicine Reviews 38 (2018): 141–157.

33. About a week later, Tore wrote to me to add a key detail: “I thought that I had mentioned what I always thought the source of this dream was. If not, here it is. This dream occurred a week or so prior to my PhD oral defense exam. I was quite intimidated by (fearful of) the thought of that exam. And I have always thought that the devil in my dream and my subsequent paralysis and fear was a representation of that fear of the upcoming unknown. Note that others have written about ‘oral defense dreams.’ The fear of public speaking is such a common phobia that it makes sense that it would underlie many nightmares.”

34. George Gaylord Simpson, The Principles of Classification and a Classification of Mammals (Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History no. 85, New York: American Museum of Natural History, 1945).

35. M. Allen, D. Frank, D. S. Schwarzkopf, F. Fardo, J. S. Winston, et al., “Unexpected Arousal Modulates the Influence of Sensory Noise on Confidence,” Elife 5 (2016): Article e18103.


1. J. Van Os, M. Hanssen, R. V. Bijl, and A. Ravelli, “Strauss (1969) Revisited: A Psychosis Continuum in the General Population?” Schizophrenia Research 45, nos. 1–2 (2000): 11–20.

2. American Psychiatric Association, Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5; Arlington, VA: American Psychiatric Association, 2013).

3. See, for example, the 2014 report by the British Psychological Society’s Division of Clinical Psychology, Understanding Psychosis and Schizophrenia (ed. A. Cooke). Available from .

4. E.g., A. S. David, “Why We Need More Debate on Whether Psychotic Symptoms Lie on a Continuum with Normality,” Psychological Medicine 40, no. 12 (2010): 1935–1942, and S. M. Lawrie, J. Hall, A. M. McIntosh, D. G. Owens, and E. C. Johnstone, “The ‘Continuum of Psychosis’: Scientifically Unproven and Clinically Impractical,” The British Journal of Psychiatry 197, no. 6 (2010): 423–425.

5. A. Woods, “The Voice-Hearer,” Journal of Mental Health 22, no. 3 (2013): 263–270.

6. It is a matter of debate how such groups of people are best referred to, with no one term lacking flaws. People who experience voices without needing mental health support have variously been described as “healthy,” “nonclinical,” “nonpsychotic,” and “without need for care.”

7. I. E. C. Sommer, K. Daalman, T. Rietkerk, K. M. Diederen, S. Bakker, et al., “Healthy Individuals with Auditory Verbal Hallucinations; Who Are They? Psychiatric Assessments of a Selected Sample of 103 Subjects,” Schizophrenia Bulletin 36, no. 3 (2010): 633–641.

8. K. M. J. Diederen, K. Daalman, A. D. de Weijer, S. F. W. Neggers, W. van Gastel, et al., “Auditory Hallucinations Elicit Similar Brain Activation in Psychotic and Nonpsychotic Individuals,” Schizophrenia Bulletin 38, no. 5 (2012): 1074–1082.

9. K. Daalman, S. Verkooijen, E. M. Derks, A. Aleman, and I. E. C. Sommer, “The Influence of Semantic Top-Down Processing in Auditory Verbal Hallucinations,” Schizophrenia Research 139, no. 1–3 (2012): 82–86.

10. B. Alderson-Day, C. F. Lima, S. Evans, S. Krishnan, and P. Shanmugalingam, “Distinct Processing of Ambiguous Speech in People with Non-clinical Auditory Verbal Hallucinations,” Brain , 140, no. 9 (2017): 2475–2489.

11. A brain imaging study conducted a few years before our scanned seven people in Bangor, while a group led by Phil Corlett and Al Powers at Yale managed to find nearly twenty to take part in their research. To this day, the Utrecht cohort remains a significant outlier.

12. It also listed a range of notable luminaries and thinkers as its corresponding members, including William James, Pierre Janet, and Hippolyte Taine.

13. Rolleston, Thomas Williams. “Some Recent Results of Psychical Research.” The Irish Church Quarterly 2, no. 5 (1909): 42. .

14. Edmund Gurney, Frederic William Henry Myers, and Frank Podmore, Phantasms of the Living (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1886, reprint 2011), x.

15. Ibid., 483.

16. “Probably the common view of hallucinations of the sane, so far as they are recognised at all, is that they are in all cases due to disease or morbid excitement, or at the very least to indigestion. Ask the first twenty rational men you meet how they would account for a phantasmal visitant if they themselves saw one: as many as ten perhaps will answer, ‘I should conclude that I had dined or supped too well.’ ‘Lobster-salad’ is an explanation which I have personally heard suggested many times. It may be at once noted, then, as a point of interest—one, moreover, in which the casual and the telepathic classes completely agree—that in not a single instance known to me has the hallucinated in person, according to his own account, been suffering at the time from indigestion. Lobster-salad is the parent of nightmares, of massive impressions of discomfort and horror; not, however, as a rule, even in dreamland, of the distinct and minute visualisation, and the clear-cut audition, which constitute the more specific hallucinations of sleep; and certainly not of waking hallucinations.” Ibid., 497.

17. E. Gurney, “A Census of Hallucinations,” Science , 103 (1885): 65.

18. T. R. Dening, “Report on the Census of Hallucinations. Chapter XII: Death Coincidences,” History of Psychiatry 5, no. 19 (1994): 407.

19. H. Sidgwick, “Report on the Census of Hallucinations,” Proceedings of the Society for Psychical Research 10 (1894): 411–412.

20. For an extensive account of this story, see Christopher Josiffe, Gef! The Strange Tale of an Extra-Special Talking Mongoose (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2017).

21. R. Morris, Harry Price: Psychic Detective (Stroud, UK: Sutton Publishing, 2006).

22. R. Gill, C. K. Hadaway, and P. Long Marler, “Is Religious Belief Declining in Britain?” Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion 37, no. 3 (1998): 507–516.

23. K. Stengaard Kamp, E. M. Steffen, B. Alderson-Day, P. Allen, A. Austad, et al., “Sensory and Quasi-sensory Experiences of the Deceased in Bereavement: An Interdisciplinary and Integrative Review,” Schizophrenia Bulletin 46, no. 6 (2020): 1367–1381.

24. E. Steffen and A. Coyle, “Sense of Presence Experiences and Meaning-Making in Bereavement: A Qualitative Analysis,” Death Studies 35, no. 7 (2011): 587, 588.

25. J. Hayes and I. Leudar, “Experiences of Continued Presence: On the Practical Consequences of ‘Hallucinations’ in Bereavement,” Psychology and Psychotherapy 89 no. 2, (2016): 194–210.

26. In response to Chan and Rossor’s 2002 Lancet essay (see chapter 6 ), the Israeli doctor Avi Ohry wrote of being visited by his wife and best friend when in jail for five weeks in Egypt, only for his visitors to disappear when the guards arrived (A. Ohry, “Extracampine Hallucinations,” The Lancet 361 [2002]: 1479–1479).

27. There is a form of therapy practiced by a small minority in the UK known as “spirit release” therapy, in which an unwanted presence is made to move on from visiting a person. See, e.g., A. Powell, “The Contribution of Spirit Release Therapy to Mental Health,” Light 126 (2006): 10–16.

28. A famous Swedish study reported felt presences in over half of a sample of fifty older adults (Grimby, “Bereavement among Elderly People”). However, problems of selection bias and reluctance to report such experiences makes estimating their prevalence highly challenging.

29. P. Moseley, A. Powell, A. Woods, C. Fernyhough, and B. Alderson-Day, “Voice-Hearing across the Continuum: A Phenomenology of Spiritual Voices,” Schizophrenia Bulletin 48, no. 5 (2022): 1066–1074.

30. Hearing the Voice, 2021. The Hearing the Voice Spiritual Voices Interviews , Durham University, unpublished.

i. “I guess it’s just like if someone’s standing close to you …” is from Interview 19: 9.

ii. “I’ve had some quite distinct experiences like that …” is from Interview 10: 9.

iii. “Just a feeling that you’re accompanied by an essence …” is from Interview 16: 9.

iv. “The very starting point is I’ll usually just feel the presence …” is from Interview 4: 9.

v. “I think when it very first started, if I’m honest, was a bereavement …” is also from Interview 4; 11.

vi. “I teach students how to be more focused …” is from Interview 25: 21.

31. A. J. Powell and P. Moseley, “When Spirits Speak: Absorption, Attribution, and Identity among Spiritualists Who Report ‘Clairaudient’ Voice Experiences,” Mental Health, Religion & Culture 23, no. 10 (2020): 841–856.

32. A. R. Powers, C. Mathys, and P. R. Corlett, “Pavlovian Conditioning–Induced Hallucinations Result from Overweighting of Perceptual Priors,” Science 357, no. 6351 (2017): 596–600.

33. T. M. Luhrmann, K. Weisman, F. Aulino, J. D. Brahinsky, J. C. Dulin, et al., “Sensing the Presence of Gods and Spirits across Cultures and Faiths,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 118, no. 5 (2021): Article e2016649118.

34. Center for Mind and Culture, “Hardy Religious and Spiritual Experience Project,” accessed on August 19 2022, .

35. A. Zeman, M. Dewar, and S. Della Sala, “Reflections on Aphantasia,” Cortex 74 (2016): 336–337.

36. Luhrmann et al., “Sensing the Presence.”

37. See, for example, C. S. Humpston and M. R. Broome, “The Spectra of Soundless Voices and Audible Thoughts: Towards an Integrative Model of Auditory Verbal Hallucinations and Thought Insertion,” Review of Philosophy and Psychology 7, no. 3 (2016): 611–629.

38. T. M. Luhrmann, R. Padmavati, H. Tharoor, and A. Osei, “Differences in Voice-Hearing Experiences of People with Psychosis in the USA, India and Ghana: Interview-Based Study,” The British Journal of Psychiatry 206, no. 1 (2015): 41–44.


1. For an example, see Huffington Post, “Reading Is Just like Looking at a Dead Piece of Wood for Hours and Hallucinating,” January 19, 2018, .

2. For a fascinating piece on the presence of Bertha Mason in Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre , see Akiko Hart, “‘Then I Open the Door and Walk into Their World’: Crossing the Threshold and Hearing the Voice,” in Voices in Psychosis: Interdisciplinary Perspectives , ed. A. Woods, B. Alderson-Day, and C. Fernyhough (Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, 2022).

3. E. Semino, “Mind Style 25 Years On,” Style , 41, no. 2 (2007): 153–173.

4. Ibid., 103.

5. Ibid., 105.

6. A. B. O. de Gortari, K. Aronsson, and M. Griffiths, “Game Transfer Phenomena in Video Game Playing: A Qualitative Interview Study,” International Journal of Cyber Behavior, Psychology and Learning (IJCBPL) 1, no. 3 (2011): 15–33. For an example of the Tetris effect, see R. Stickgold, A. Malia, D. Maguire, D. Roddenberry, and M. O’Connor, “Replaying the Game: Hypnagogic Images in Normals and Amnesics,” Science 290, no. 5490 (2000): 350–353.

7. Nathan Thompson, “The Internet’s Newest Subculture Is All About Creating Imaginary Friends,” Vice , September 3, 2014, .

8. See, e.g., N. L. Mikles and J. P. Laycock, “Tracking the Tulpa: Exploring the ‘Tibetan’ Origins of a Contemporary Paranormal Idea,” Nova Religio: The Journal of Alternative and Emergent Religions 19, no. 1 (2015): 87–97.

9. “Making Friends,” Reply All , #74, August 24, 2016, .

10., “What is a tulpa?” accessed January 30, 2022, .

11. Samuel Veissière, “Varieties of Tulpa Experiences: The Hypnotic Nature of Human Sociality, Personhood, and Interphenomenality,” in Hypnosis and meditation: Towards an Integrative Science of Conscious Planes , ed. A. Raz & M. Lifshitz (Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, 2016).

12. Ibid., 61.

13. D. Horton and R. R. Wohl, “Mass Communication and Para-social Interaction: Observations on Intimacy at a Distance,” Psychiatry 19, no. 3 (1956): 215.

14. A. Tellegen and G. Atkinson, “Openness to Absorbing and Self-Altering Experiences (‘Absorption’), a Trait Related to Hypnotic Susceptibility,” Journal of Abnormal Psychology 83, no. 3 (1974): 268–277.

15. Veissière, “Varieties of Tulpa Experiences,” 71.

16. Ibid., 68.

17. J. Foxwell, B. Alderson-Day, C. Fernyhough, and A. Woods, “‘I’ve Learned I Need to Treat My Characters like People’: Varieties of Agency and Interaction in Writers’ Experiences of Their Characters’ Voices,” Consciousness and Cognition 79 (2020): Article 102901.

18. Peter Garratt, “Hearing Voices Allowed Charles Dickens to Create Extraordinary Fictional Worlds,” The Guardian , August 22, 2014, .

19. Philip Pullman, Daemon Voices: Essays on Storytelling (Oxford, UK: David Fickling, 2017), 39.

20. For a discussion of this idea, see J. J. Isler, “Tulpas and Mental Health: A Study of Non-Traumagenic Plural Experiences,” Research in Psychology and Behavioral Sciences 5, no. 2 (2017): 36–44.

21. E. Palmer-Cooper, N. McGuire, and A. Wright, “Unusual Experiences and Their Association with Metacognition: Investigating ASMR and Tulpamancy,” Cognitive Neuropsychiatry 27, no. 2–3 (2022): 86–104.

22. For a recent review see A. Armah and M. Landers-Potts, “A Review of Imaginary Companions and Their Implications for Development,” Imagination, Cognition and Personality 41, no. 1 (2021): 31–53.

23. For reviews that cover this question, see D. Pearson, H. Rouse, S. Doswell, C. Ainsworth, O. Dawson, et al., “Prevalence of Imaginary Companions in a Normal Child Population,” Child: Care, Health and Development 27, no. 1 (2001): 13–22; and R. Jardri, A. A. Bartels-Velthuis, M. Debbané, J. A. Jenner, I. Kelleher, et al., “From Phenomenology to Neurophysiological Understanding of Hallucinations in Children and Adolescents,” Schizophrenia Bulletin 40, no. Suppl_4 (2014): S221–S232.

24. Armah and Landers-Potts, “A Review of Imaginary Companions.”

25. M. Taylor, S. D. Hodges, and A. Kohányi, “The Illusion of Independent Agency: Do Adult Fiction Writers Experience Their Characters as Having Minds of Their Own?” Imagination, Cognition and Personality 22, no. 4 (2003): 361–380.

26. C. Fernyhough, A. Watson, M. Bernini, P. Moseley, and B. Alderson-Day, “Imaginary Companions, Inner Speech, and Auditory Verbal Hallucinations: What Are the Relations?” Frontiers in Psychology 10 (2019): Article 1665.

27. Perceptual bias on signal detection tasks for people with hallucinations was first reported by Richard Bentall and Peter D. Slade. (“Reality testing and auditory hallucinations: a signal detection analysis.” British Journal of Clinical Psychology 24, no. 3 (1985): 159–169) and has since been replicated in a number of studies. We have observed similar patterns in spiritualists who hear voices (P. Moseley, B. Alderson-Day, S. Common, G. Dodgson, R. Lee, et al., “Continuities and Discontinuities in the Cognitive Mechanisms Associated with Clinical and Nonclinical Auditory Verbal Hallucinations,” Clinical Psychological Science 10, no. 4 (2022): 752–766).

28. For examples of this kind of view, see Bernard Baars’s “How Brain Reveals Mind: Neural Studies Support the Fundamental Role of Conscious Experience,” Journal of Consciousness Studies 10, no. 9–10 (2003): 100–114.

29. Apparently, this tweet was prompted by a 2011 blog post for Psychology Today on variations in inner speaking by the Nevada psychologist Russ Hurlburt. Russell T. Hurlburt, “Not Everyone Conducts Inner Speech,” Psychology Today , October 26, 2011, .

30. A. Morin, “Possible Links between Self-awareness and Inner Speech: Theoretical Background, Underlying Mechanisms, and Empirical Evidence,” Journal of Consciousness Studies 12, no. 4–5 (2005): 115–134.

31. S. McCarthy-Jones and C. Fernyhough, “The Varieties of Inner Speech: Links between Quality of Inner Speech and Psychopathological Variables in a Sample of Young Adults,” Consciousness and Cognition 20, no. 4 (2011): 1586–1593.

32. Lev S. Vygotsky, Thought and Language (1934. Reprint Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2012).

33. B. Alderson-Day and C. Fernyhough, “Inner Speech: Development, Cognitive Functions, Phenomenology, and Neurobiology,” Psychological Bulletin 141, no. 5 (2015): 931–965.

34. R. Keogh, M. Wicken, and J. Pearson, “Visual Working Memory in Aphantasia: Retained Accuracy and Capacity with a Different Strategy,” Cortex 143 (2021): 237–253.

35. The role of emotion also invites further parallels with intense relationships, including those of the one-sided variety. Many of us have had a time in our lives when we can’t get someone out of our head—and sometimes, this might border on something like a constant feeling of their presence. This kind of experience was noted by William James in his own discussion of presence: “A lover has notoriously the sense of the continuous being of his idol, even when his attention is addressed to other matters and he no longer represents her features. He cannot forget her; she uninterruptedly affects him through and through” (italics mine). William James, The Varieties of Religious Experience (1904. Reprint Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, 2012), 62.

36. Someone trained to deliver therapy of the kind developed by people like Sigmund Freud, Carl Jung, and Melanie Klein.

37. E.g., S. M. Andersen and S. Chen, “The Relational Self: An Interpersonal Social-Cognitive Theory,” Psychological Review 109, no. 4 (2002): 619; H. J. Hermans, “The Dialogical Self as a Society of Mind: Introduction,” Theory & psychology 12, no. 2 (2002): 147–160.

38. Pullman, Daemon Voices , 310.


1. J. N. Bailenson, “Nonverbal Overload: A Theoretical Argument for the Causes of Zoom Fatigue,” Technology, Mind, and Behavior 2, no. 1 (2021).

2. In fact, there is a whole journal on it, appropriately called Presence .

3. This concept is also used to refer to one’s own sense of presence in the context of psychosis. See, for example, B. Nelson, A. Fornito, B. J. Harrison, M. Yücel, L. A. Sass, et al., “A Disturbed Sense of Self in the Psychosis Prodrome: Linking Phenomenology and Neurobiology,” Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews 33, no. 6 (2009): 807–817.

4. S. Milgram, “Behavioral Study of Obedience,” Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology 67, no. 4 (1963): 371–378.

5. Mel Slater, “The Concept of Presence and Its Measurement,” PEACH Summer School, Santorini, Greece, July 2007, .

6. Olaf Blanke et al., “Neurological and Robot-Controlled Induction.”

7. B. O. Rothbaum, L. F. Hodges, R. Kooper, D. Opdyke, J. S. Williford, and M. North, “Virtual Reality Graded Exposure in the Treatment of Acrophobia: A Case Report,” Behavior Therapy 26, no. 3 (1995): 547–554.

8. See, for example, J. Böhnlein, L. Altegoer, N. K. Muck, K. Roesmann, R. Redlich, et al., “Factors Influencing the Success of Exposure Therapy for Specific Phobia: A Systematic Review,” Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews 108 (2020): 796–820.

9. For an example of this method, see D. Freeman, K. Pugh, A. Antley, M. Slater, P. Bebbington, et al., “Virtual Reality Study of Paranoid Thinking in the General Population,” The British Journal of Psychiatry 192, no. 4 (2008): 258–263.

10. J. Leff, G. Williams, M. A. Huckvale, M. Arbuthnot, and A. P. Leff, “Computer-Assisted Therapy for Medication-Resistant Auditory Hallucinations: Proof-of-Concept Study,” The British Journal of Psychiatry 202, no. 6 (2013): 428–433.

11. J. Leff, G. Williams, M. Huckvale, M. Arbuthnot, and A. P. Leff, “Avatar Therapy for Persecutory Auditory Hallucinations: What Is It and How Does It Work?” Psychosis 6, no. 2 (2014): 166–176.

12. T. K. J. Craig, M. Rus-Calafell, T. Ward, J. P. Leff, M. Huckvale, et al., “AVATAR Therapy for Auditory Verbal Hallucinations in People with Psychosis: A Single-Blind, Randomised Controlled Trial,” The Lancet Psychiatry 5, no. 1 (2018): 31–40.

13. M. Rus-Calafell, T. Ward, X. C. Zhang, C. J. Edwards, P. Garety, and T. Craig, “The Role of Sense of Voice Presence and Anxiety Reduction in AVATAR Therapy,” Journal of Clinical Medicine 9, no. 9 (2020): Article 2748.

14. P. Garety, C. J. Edwards, T. Ward, R. Emsley, M. Huckvale, et al., “Optimising AVATAR Therapy for People Who Hear Distressing Voices: Study Protocol for the AVATAR2 Multi-centre Randomised Controlled Trial,” Trials 22, no. 1 (2021): 1–17.

15. The idea that mind and body consist of fundamentally different substances—mind-body dualism—is typically attributed to French philosopher René Descartes.

16. R. Salomon, P. Progin, A. Griffa, G. Rognini, K. Q. Do, et al., “Sensorimotor Induction of Auditory Misattribution in Early Psychosis,” Schizophrenia Bulletin , 46, no. 4 (2020): 947–954.

17. P. Orepic, G. Rognini, O. A. Kannape, N. Faivre, and O. Blanke, “Sensorimotor Conflicts Induce Somatic Passivity and Louden Quiet Voices in Healthy Listeners,” Schizophrenia Research 231 (2021): 170–177.

18. Arthur Kleinman, The Illness Narratives: Suffering, Healing, and the Human Condition (New York: Basic Books, 1988), 3.

19. Botvinick and Cohen, “Rubber Hands ‘Feel’ Touch,” 756.

20. Ed Yong, “Man with Schizophrenia Has Out-of-Body Experience in Lab, Gains Knowledge, Controls His Psychosis,” Discover , October 31, 2011, .

21. H.-S. Lee, S.-J. J. Hong, T. Baxter, J. Scott, S. Shenoy, et al., “Altered Peripersonal Space and the Bodily Self in Schizophrenia: A Virtual Reality Study,” Schizophrenia Bulletin 47, no. 4 (2021): 927–937.

22. L. Nummenmaa, E. Glerean, R. Hari, and J. K. Hietanen, “Bodily Maps of Emotions,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 111, no. 2 (2014): 646–651.

23. L. J. Torregrossa, M. A. Snodgress, S. J. Hong, H. S. Nichols, E. Glerean, et al., “Anomalous Bodily Maps of Emotions in Schizophrenia,” Schizophrenia Bulletin 45, no. 5 (2019): 1060–1067.

24. Shannon Pagdon and Nev Jones, Psychosis Outside the Box v1. (2020), .

25. Ibid., 13.

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