The nature and varieties of felt presence experiences: A reply to Nielsen☆

Consciousness and Cognition 16 (4):984-991 (2007)
Abstract
Nielsen [Nielsen, T. . Felt presence: Paranoid delusion or hallucinatory social imagery? Consciousness and Cognition, 16, 975–983.] raises a number of issues and presents several provocative arguments worthy of discussion regarding the experience of the felt presence during sleep paralysis . We consider these issues beginning with the nature of FP and its relation to affective-motivational systems and provide an alternative to Nielsen’s reduction of FP to a purely spatial hallucination. We then consider implications of the “normal social imagery” model. We can find only one specific empirical hypothesis articulated within this framework and it turns out to be one that we explicitly addressed in our original paper. We also review our position regarding the possible relation of FP during SP to a number of related anomalous experiences and contrast FP to anomalous vestibular-motor phenomena. We review our position that the neuromatrix concept, in the light of available evidence, is more appropriately applied to V-M experiences than FP. Finally, we pursue speculations, raised in Nielsen’s commentary, on the wider implications of FP
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