Comparison of Explanations about Autoscopic Phenomena

Type of






Brain Areas Affected by Damage

Focal brain damage [25] .

Right hemisphere and damage to right temporo-parietal junction [22] .

Extrastriate cortex and occipital cortex, damage to ventral visual pathway in proximity to extrastriate body area [25] .

Damage to right parieto-occipital cortex [22] .

Left posterior insular cortex [25] .

Involves left hemisphere structures and damage to left temporo-parietal junction [22] , and damage to the left posterior insular cortex [35] .


Explanations Addressed in This Article

Disturbed multi-sensory integration in personal and extrapersonal space [25]

Disorder of body representation due to visuo-tactile disintegration [25] .

Disintegration of somatosensory, visual, emotional, physical, or intuitive signals. Co-occurrence with aberrant sensory information from the vestibular organs, resulting in changes in first-person perspective and self-location [25] .

Our Theory

This article discusses autoscopic phenomena with brain damage and the brain’s inability to integrate the sensory information, and helps to explain what causes autoscopic phenomena experiences, e.g., damage to certain areas of the brain [25] , defective visual processing of bodily information [22] , and failure to integrate multisensory signals at the temporo-parietal junction [22] . We go a step further to explain how these are hallucinations are projected into the visual field.

When information is received by the lateral geniculate nucleus, the lateral geniculate nucleus then supplies feedback inhibition to the visual center of the reticular thalamic nucleus, influencing information that the primary visual cortex receives from the retina [3] . Layers within the lateral geniculate nucleus consist of retinotopic organization that, along with the ability of the brain to fill in missing information (illusory contouring), form complete images we see as the external world [30] .

Incorrect information from aberrant cortical activity could transmit incorrect information to the lateral geniculate nucleus. Erroneous information processed through retinogeniculo-cortical oscillations that reaches conscious visual awareness could create a hallucinatory event, including any variation of an autoscopic phenomenon. This is because the erroneous information processed through retinogeniculo-cortical oscillations would still be projected onto the retina, then re-projected into the external visual field, creating the appearance and feel of being outside of one’s body.