Subjective pseudocyesis in normal women who exhibit enhanced imaginings and elevated indicators of electrical lability within the temporal lobes: Implications for the "Missing Embryo Syndrome"

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Michael A. Persinger
Cite this article:  Persinger, M. (1996). Subjective pseudocyesis in normal women who exhibit enhanced imaginings and elevated indicators of electrical lability within the temporal lobes: Implications for the "Missing Embryo Syndrome". Social Behavior and Personality: An international journal, 24(2), 101-112.


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About one-fifth of 371 university women (mean age 26 years) reported that they had experienced symptoms of subjective pseudocyesis (false pregnancy). These women displayed markedly elevated indicators of complex partial seizure-like signs (particularly olfactory experiences, automatic behaviors and depersonalization), dissociative experiences, memory disruptions, hypomania, and right hemispheric arousal compared to women who did not report subjective pseudocyesis; for this phenomenon the ratio of women who were Roman Catholic vs Protestant was 8.2:1. This cluster of symptoms and experiences is very similar to those reported by women who believe their embryos have been removed after “impregnation” by non-human entities. Possible mechanisms are discussed.


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