Illusory shadow person causing paradoxical gaze deviations during temporal lobe seizures

M. Zijlmans*, P. Van Eijsden, C. H. Ferrier, K. H. Kho, P. C. Van Rijen, F. S.S. Leijten

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


Generally, activation of the frontal eye field during seizures can cause versive (forced) gaze deviation, while non-versive head deviation is hypothesised to result from ictal neglect after inactivation of the ipsilateral temporoparietal area. Almost all non-versive head deviations occurring during temporal lobe seizures are directed to the side of seizure onset, so in derogatory cases it is worth while explaining the paradoxical event. We present a patient with a paradoxical direction of gaze deviation during temporal lobe seizures with an unexpected explanation. Electrocortical stimulation of the temporoparieto-occipital junction elicited an irrepressible urge to look towards an illusory shadow person besides the patient. Paradoxical non-versive gaze deviations in temporal lobe seizures may be due to illusory experiences masked by postictal amnesia.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)686-688
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of neurology, neurosurgery and psychiatry
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2009
Externally publishedYes


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