The "Feeling of Movement": Notes on the rorschach human movement response

Piero Porcelli, James H. Kleiger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Human movement responses (M) on the Rorschach have been traditionally viewed as lying neither completely in the inkblot (external reality) nor within the subject's mind (inner world). The authors contend that M is not reducible to the "body that I have" but to the "body that I am," which is a higher level organization of bottom-up and top-down brain networks, integrating body implicit awareness, psychological functioning, and social cognition. Two sources of evidence suggest the close relationship among M, psychological functions, and brain mechanisms. One comes from meta-analytical evidence supporting the close association between M and higher level cognitive functioning or empathy. The second comes from some preliminary studies showing that M activates brain circuits included in the mirror neuron system (MNS). Two conclusions can be drawn: (a) M is related to the effective use of the mentalization function; and (b) future neuroscientific investigations could lead to an understanding of the neuropsychological mechanisms underlying Rorschach responses and variables.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)124-134
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Personality Assessment
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Mar 3 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)


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