Reference Work Entry

Encyclopedia of Child Behavior and Development

pp 1191-1192

Psychomotor Seizures

  • Matthew J. HolcombAffiliated withSchool Psychology Program, Ball State University
  • , Raymond S. DeanAffiliated withSchool Psychology Program, Ball State University


Complex partial seizure; Temporal lobe seizure


A psychomotor seizure is a form of epilepsy that is typically limited to the temporal lobe of the brain and results in impairment of responsiveness and awareness to ones surroundings. Patients may act out in a variety of ways while experiencing the seizure but have not recall of it.


Psychomotor seizure is an older term used to describe a complex partial seizure which is seen in its most common forms as either psychomotor or temporal lobe epilepsy. Psychomotor seizures are more complex than simple partial seizures because an alteration of awareness typically accompanies the experience of a seizure. In fact, about half of all people who experience a psychomotor seizure also experience a concomitant aura [3].

In many circumstances the aura that a person experiences is directly related to the origination of the seizure. In other words, if a person has a visual aura or manifestation (e.g., ...

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