Temporal lobe discharges and glossolalia

Reeves R. R. , KÖSE A. , Abubakr A.

NEUROCASE, vol.20, no.2, pp.236-240, 2014 (Journal Indexed in SCI) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 20 Issue: 2
  • Publication Date: 2014
  • Doi Number: 10.1080/13554794.2013.770874
  • Title of Journal : NEUROCASE
  • Page Numbers: pp.236-240


Glossolalia (speaking in tongues) is a religious phenomenon of which there has been only limited scientific investigation. Described here is the case of a 44-year-old woman who had clonic jerking of the left forearm while speaking in tongues. Waking EEG while she was thinking of nothing in particular was normal. After several minutes of silently praying in tongues she manifested right temporal sharp wave discharges and may have been in a state resembling light sleep. Possible relationships between glossolalia, ecstatic religious phenomena, and temporal lobe electrical discharges are discussed.