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An example of neurophenomenological research: the anticipation of epileptic seizures

Petitmengin Claire
Language of the article : French
DOI: 10.3406/intel.2005.1359
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The purpose of this paper is to describe the neurophenomenological project on epileptic seizure anticipation, and to sum up the methodological difficulties we met. The analysis of neuroelectric signals with new mathematical methods has provided strong evidence that it is possible to detect a pre-seizure state in the neuronal dynamics a few minutes before the seizure onset : do these neurodynamical modifications correspond to any modifications in the patients’ subjective experience, and which ones? This paper describes our attempt to correlate these two dimensions of seizure anticipation, the neuroelectric one and the phenomenological one. The emphasis is put on the phenomenological dimension and the problems related with the description of the patients' subjective experience. We also describe the different levels of correlation we explored between first person and third person data, stressing the methodological difficulties we met at each level. In conclusion, we evaluate the results of the project and the relevance of the neuro-phenomenological approach on the therapeutic, methodological and epistemic levels.

Pour citer cet article :

Petitmengin Claire (2005/1). An example of neurophenomenological research: the anticipation of epileptic seizures. In Regular papers (Eds), Intellectica: issue 40, Intellectica, 40, (pp.63-90), DOI: 10.3406/intel.2005.1359.