I understand that people who experience autoscopy can see their body image outside them without a mirror. I had read many years back in a paper that people who experience the inverse phenomenon called "heautoscopy" become unable to see their body image in a mirror. I am not able to trace that paper. It is correct? Is there any place I can read more about it?


1 Answer 1


While acknowledging the fact that Google delivers personalized results, I am fairly sure a Google search for "heautoscopy" will deliver you bucket loads of papers to read - I have copied a random handful for your convenience below under 'further reading'.

However, a popular source seems to contradict your definition, as it states heautoscopy as being:

A hallucination in which one sees one's own body from a distance. Heautoscopy may occur as a symptom in schizophrenia and epilepsy.

Your own referenced Brugger (2002) paper gives a nice definition of both terms in one go:

In an autoscopic hallucination the observer's perspective is clearly body-centred, and the visual image of one's own body appears as a mirror reversal. Heautoscopy (i.e., the encounter with an alter ego or doppelgänger), is defined as a reduplication not only of bodily appearance, but also of aspects of one's psychological self.

Not being able to see ones own reflection in a mirror would be an entirely different phenomenon, more akin to mirrored-self misidentification

Further reading
- Blanke & Mohr, Brain Res Brain Res Rev (2005); 50(1): 184-99
- Brugger, Cogn Neuropsychiatry (2002); 7(3): 179-94
- Brugger et al., J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry (1994); 57(7): 838–39

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Thank you so much Alice for clarity! I am rewarding you a bounty of 100 points :-) $\endgroup$ Commented Jul 16, 2020 at 6:45
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ @SijuGeorge No worries and the prospect of a bonus sounds really nice :) Thanks! $\endgroup$
    – AliceD
    Commented Jul 16, 2020 at 7:37

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