Pronunciation: (ô-tom'u-tiz"um), [key]
1. the action or condition of being automatic; mechanical or involuntary action.
2. Philos.the doctrine that all activities of animals, or of humans and animals, are entirely controlled by physical or physiological causes in which consciousness takes no part.
3. Physiol.the involuntary functioning of an organic process, esp. muscular, without apparent neural stimulation.
a. the performance of an act or actions without the performer's awareness or conscious volition.
b. such an act, as sleepwalking.
5. a method of producing pictorial art, as paintings and collages, associated chiefly with the dadaists and surrealists, in which the artist strives to allow the impulses of the unconscious to guide the hand in matters of line, color, and structure without the interference of conscious choice.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.