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The Feeling of A Presence and Verbal Meaningfulness in Context of Temporal Lobe Function: Factor Analytic Verification of the Muses?

Michael, A. Persinger and Katherine Makarec
Brain and Cognition, November 1992, 20 (2): 217-226.

Abstract:

Hypothesized that the feeling of a presence, particularly during periods of profound verbal creativity (reading or writing prose or poetry), is an endemic cognitive phenomenon. Factor analyses of 12 clusters of phenomenological experiences from 348 men and 520 women (aged 18-65 yrs), who enrolled in undergraduate psychology courses over a 10-yr period, supported the hypothesis. The authors conclude that periods of intense meaningfulness (a likely correlate of enhanced burst-firing in the left hippocampal-amygdaloid complex and temporal lobe) allow access to nonverbal representations that are the right hemispheric equivalents of the sense of self; they are perceived as a presence. The relevance of results to the theories of Julian Jaynes and others is discussed.