During some autoscopic phenomena and full-body illusions using experimental setups, patients or healthy individuals can undergo altered states of consciousness in which three fundamental aspects of ordinary experience can be dissociated. These three aspects, which share a seemingly “self-referential” character, are self-identification to a body, self-location in space and the experienced direction of the visuospatial perspective. This article analyses clinical and experimental data regarding autoscopic phenomena and autoscopic illusions, as well as the mechanisms of multisensory integration underlying the “self-referential” aspects they alter. Furthermore, the article draws from these data to propose the hypothesis that self-location in space, whether it is body location or first-person perspective location, may be necessary condition of the experience of being a self-perceiving the world from a certain standpoint. A discussion of philosophical debates about self-location, bodily awareness and self-consciousness is outlined in light of this hypothesis, while leaving open the question of the necessary conditions of consciousness in general.
Pour citer cet article :Millière Raphaël (2017). The Windows of Perception: Autoscopic Phenomena, Full-Body Illusions and Self-Consciousness. In Dumas Guillaume & Fortier Martin & González Juan C. (Eds), Debating altered states of consciousness: Pitfalls of past research and rising new paradigms, Intellectica, 67, (pp.165-198), DOI: n/a.