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Percept Mot Skills. 1992 Oct;75(2):568-70.

Right hemisphericity, low self-esteem, and unusual experiences: a response to Vingiano.

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  • 1Department of Psychology, Laurentian University, Sudbury, Ontario, Canada.


Vingiano's (1992) challenge concerning the relationship between right hemisphericity, low self-esteem, mystical experiences, and religiosity can be clarified by the concept of vectorial hemisphericity. Ontogenetic intrusions of right-hemispheric processes into the left hemispheric sense of self should be experienced most frequently as an apprehensive "presence" that results in lower self-esteem. Because transient above-normal left-hemispheric activity enhances positive affect and the sense of self, concurrent right-hemispheric intrusions are experienced as mystical experiences. Religiosity would be the consequence of persistent above-normal left-temporofrontal activation that encourages the delusion. Hence, extreme conditions, such as left lateralized temporal-lobe epileptic foci, encourage both mystical and religious experiences.

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