Skip to Main content Skip to Navigation

Paroles des Alpes et de l'Himalaya. Essai de psychologie intuitive sur une anthropologie des ontologies fantastiques dans deux imaginaires narratifs en milieu alpin. Entre Vallée d'Aoste et Népal.

Abstract : Dedicated to spoken memories, this work explore experience-centered narrative heritage in faraway alpine environments: from French-speaking Alps to the Himalayan Nepal. Starting from the largest French collection of belief narratives by Charles Joisten, we focussed on Valdostan reports, and the same during several consecutive field investigations in Nepal, inside Bahun-Chhetri and Newar groups. Hence we strolled on the trails of fantastic ontologies, the ones that haunt the narrative imaginary of such distant alpine communities. On processing these documents, we developed a cross-cultural analysis in comparative neurocognitive anthropology, elaborating a framework that allowed to bridge field folkloristics and cognitive neuroscience. By taking into account the relationships between the neurocognitive systems of human brains as ontology engines, be they physical or imaginary ontologies, and their inspirations from the cultural environments, we were enabled to tell something about the cerebral sensorium, with its specific sources (a priori counterintuitive), from which the creation of such imaginary ontologies has drawn. For this purpose, we evaluated more explicitly our working hypotheses in the frame of the cross-cultural neurocognitive anthropological model BRAINCUBUS (since 2011 by Cathiard et al.). Notably we had the opportunity to benefit from the last significant improvements concerning psychological modalities of intuition within this framework.As an interface between folklore studies of the supernatural and the latest advances in the neurophysiology of sleep, this model has allowed us to build our research on imaginary ontologies (as landmarked long ago by international folkloristics), by considering that virtually all of which originated in the dissociated brain state called sleep paralysis. Starting from this 4th state of the brain, it was possible to identify the origin of different phenomenologies which spawn the anthropodiversity we meet for supernatural ontologies. Establishing that these so-called “phantom” bodies are clearly neurally real, our purpose was to achieve the unification of main phantom-bodies with physical bodies from their cortical mapping. We focussed mainly on the two main types of phantom-bodies generated by the two fundamental components of sleep paralysis: OBE (Out-of-Body Experience) and AP3S (Alien Sensed Presence from Self Shadowing). In the narrative documents we elicited the semantic matrix of paralysis and we became able to differentiate the cortical sources of the two universal narratives of the “soul leaving the body for visiting” and of “sleeper visited”, both generated in the temporo-parietal junction (TPJ), and lateralized respectively to the right (OBE) and to the left (AP3S).An examination of OBE journeys allowed us to highlight the nodal role played by a cross-culturally shared anxiety. This is an injonctive precaution: do not move the inanimate body of a person in sleep paralysis, to allow the animate body to re-enter. This physiological over-intuition – stored and shared in narrative motifs – became an anti-lethal sapiential care. Actually rolling face down a sleep paralyzed person is at high risk of suffocating to death because s/he can not recover control of voluntary breathing, since external intercostal muscles are paralyzed. This sleep paralysis phenomenology is widespread enough to fuel transmissibility of narratives grounded in neurally undeniable experiences of phantom bodies. When framing these explicanda in a neurocompatible format, we were able to unify narrative matrices, elaborated from universally experienced OBE or AP3S phantom bodies within BRAINCUBUS as a model capable of neural creativity for such fantastic ontologies. Formulated by human wisdom along more than 50,000 years at least, they will continue to haunt our imaginary and enrich the narrative heritage of Humanity.
Document type :
Complete list of metadatas
Contributor : Abes Star :  Contact
Submitted on : Thursday, August 30, 2018 - 11:29:07 AM
Last modification on : Wednesday, October 14, 2020 - 4:17:06 AM


Version validated by the jury (STAR)


  • HAL Id : tel-01864604, version 1




Fabio Armand. Paroles des Alpes et de l'Himalaya. Essai de psychologie intuitive sur une anthropologie des ontologies fantastiques dans deux imaginaires narratifs en milieu alpin. Entre Vallée d'Aoste et Népal.. Linguistique. Università degli studi (Turin, Italie), 2016. Français. ⟨NNT : 2016GREAL036⟩. ⟨tel-01864604⟩



Record views


Files downloads