Auditory hallucinations in those populations that do not suffer from schizophrenia.

Department of Academic Clinical Psychiatry, SCANLab (Sheffield Cognition and Neuroimaging Laboratory), The University of Sheffield, The Longley Centre, Sheffield S5 7JT, United Kingdom.
Current Psychiatry Reports (Impact Factor: 3.05). 07/2007; 9(3):206-12. DOI: 10.1007/s11920-007-0020-z
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The following article discusses the phenomenon of auditory hallucinations in those who do not suffer from schizophrenia. Research has shown the occurrence of auditory hallucinations in the general population to such an extent that they cannot be said to be pathognomonic of psychiatric illness. In addition, it has long been known that certain hallucinatory experiences occur in health, such as hypnagogic and hypnopompic hallucinations. However, there are fundamental differences in the characteristics of these experiences. In the psychiatric population, these tend to be frequent, intrusive, and distressing. In contrast, in the nonclinical population, these are often predominantly positive and nonthreatening. The exact mechanism for the occurrence of auditory hallucinations is not yet known, but it is hoped that through the study of those in health, the mechanisms that underpin pathophysiologic processes in clinical conditions also can be elucidated.

  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The present study was specifically designed to investigate the prevalence of auditory verbal hallucinations (AVH) in the general population, and sought to compare similarities and differences regarding socio-demographics, mental health and severe life events between individuals who have never experienced AVH with those who had. The study also aimed to compare those who sought professional help for their experience of AVH with those who had not sought help. Through a postal questionnaire, 2,533 participants ages 18 and over from a national survey completed the Launay-Slade Hallucinations Scale and other measures examining AVH characteristics and other areas related to AVH. In total, 7.3% of the sample reported a life-time prevalence of AVH. Those with AVH were more likely to be single and unemployed, reported higher levels of depression and anxiety, and experienced a higher number of severe life events compared with those without AVH. Only 16% of those who experienced AVH in the general population sought professional help for these experiences. Compared to those who did not seek professional help, participants that had were more likely to experience AVH with a negative content, experience them on a daily basis, undergo negative reactions when experiencing AVH, and resist AVH. In conclusion, the prevalence of AVH was found to be relatively high. The results also revealed higher levels of reduced mental health for individuals who sought professional help, followed by those who did not, compared with those who had never experienced AVH. © 2015 The Authors. Scandinavian Journal of Psychology published by Scandinavian Psychological Associations and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
    Scandinavian Journal of Psychology 06/2015; DOI:10.1111/sjop.12236 · 1.29 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Based on the evolution of human intelligence and the tremendous cognitive capacities arising from it, we have an innate tendency for the extreme thought content, thought form, and sensory perceptions of psychosis. During the conscious and awake state, cognitive regulatory control processes block these more extreme variants to facilitate reality congruency necessary for adaptive functioning. While asleep there is no need for reality congruency and the cognitive regulatory control processes are deactivated allowing psychotic equivalents to be expressed in dreams. This paper helps synthesize the two dominant perspectives regarding the etiology of psychosis: the neuroscience defect perspective and the psychoanalytic motivational perspective. Regarding the former, defective cognitive regulation arising from certain conditions, such as the deficit state of schizophrenia, allows extreme cognitive distortions, thought form variants, and sensory perceptual experiences to intrude into the conscious and awake state, thereby producing psychosis. Consistent with the psychoanalytic motivational perspective, defensive processes can motivate extreme cognitive distortions, thought form variants and sensory perceptual experiences, and also facilitate their expression by deactivating the relevant cognitive regulatory control processes.
    The American Journal of Psychoanalysis 06/2012; 72(2):152-65. DOI:10.1057/ajp.2012.10
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Investigating auditory hallucinations that occur in health may help elucidate brain mechanisms which lead to the pathological experience of auditory hallucinations in neuropsychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia. In this study, we investigated healthy individuals who reported auditory hallucinations whilst falling asleep (hypnagogic hallucinations; HG) and waking up (hypnopompic hallucinations; HP). In an initial behavioural study, we found that subjects with a history of auditory HG/HP hallucinations (n = 26) reported significantly greater subjective sensitivity to environmental sounds than non-hallucinator controls (n = 74). Then, two fMRI experiments were performed. The first examined speech-evoked brain activation in 12 subjects with a history of auditory HG/HP hallucinations and 12 non-hallucinator controls matched for age, gender and IQ. The second fMRI experiment, in the same subjects, probed how brain activation was modulated by auditory attention using a bimodal selective attention paradigm. In the first experiment, the hallucinator group demonstrated significantly greater speech-evoked activation in the left supramarginal gyrus than the control group. In the second experiment, directing attention towards the auditory (vs. visual) modality induced significantly greater activation of the anterior cingulate gyrus in the hallucinator group than in the control group. These results suggest that hallucination proneness is associated with increased sensitivity of auditory and polysensory association cortex to auditory stimulation, an effect which might arise due to enhanced attentional bias from the anterior cingulate gyrus. Our data support the overarching hypothesis that top-down modulation of auditory cortical response characteristics may be a key mechanistic step in the generation of auditory hallucinations.
    NeuroImage 05/2011; 57(3):1154-61. DOI:10.1016/j.neuroimage.2011.04.058 · 6.13 Impact Factor