Ben Alderson-Day

Ben Alderson-Day
Durham University | DU · Department of Psychology

PhD

About

88
Publications
25,894
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2,638
Citations
Citations since 2017
40 Research Items
2206 Citations
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Introduction
I am interested in inner speech and cognition in typical and atypical development. This includes research on the development of auditory verbal hallucinations, executive function in autism spectrum disorders, and problem-solving skills in deafness.

Publications

Publications (88)
Article
Full-text available
Inner speech has been implicated in important aspects of normal and atypical cognition, including the development of auditory hallucinations. Studies to date have focused on covert speech elicited by simple word or sentence repetition, while ignoring richer and arguably more psychologically significant varieties of inner speech. This study compared...
Article
Full-text available
Inner speech-also known as covert speech or verbal thinking-has been implicated in theories of cognitive development, speech monitoring, executive function, and psychopathology. Despite a growing body of knowledge on its phenomenology, development, and function, approaches to the scientific study of inner speech have remained diffuse and largely un...
Article
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Background: Auditory hallucinations--or voices--are a common feature of many psychiatric disorders and are also experienced by individuals with no psychiatric history. Understanding of the variation in subjective experiences of hallucination is central to psychiatry, yet systematic empirical research on the phenomenology of auditory hallucinations...
Article
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ALDERSON-DAY, B., S. McCarthy-Jones and C. Fernyhough. Hearing voices in the resting brain: A review of intrinsic functional connectivity research on auditory verbal hallucinations. NEUROSCI BIOBEHAV REV 21(1) XXX-XXX, 2014.- Resting state networks (RSNs) are thought to reflect the intrinsic functional connectivity of brain regions. Alterations to...
Article
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Children with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) adopt less efficient strategies than typically developing (TD) peers on the Twenty Questions Task (TQT), a measure of verbal problem-solving skills. Although problems with the TQT are typically associated with executive dysfunction, they have also been reported in children who are deaf, suggesting a ro...
Chapter
Full-text available
Voices in Psychosis: Interdisciplinary Perspectives deepens and extends the understanding of hearing voices in psychosis in a striking way. For the first time, this collection brings multiple disciplinary, clinical, and experiential perspectives to bear on an original and extraordinarily rich body of testimony: transcripts of forty in-depth phenome...
Chapter
Full-text available
Voices in Psychosis: Interdisciplinary Perspectives deepens and extends the understanding of hearing voices in psychosis in a striking way. For the first time, this collection brings multiple disciplinary, clinical, and experiential perspectives to bear on an original and extraordinarily rich body of testimony: transcripts of forty in-depth phenome...
Article
Full-text available
Voices in Psychosis: Interdisciplinary Perspectives deepens and extends the understanding of hearing voices in psychosis in a striking way. For the first time, this collection brings multiple disciplinary, clinical, and experiential perspectives to bear on an original and extraordinarily rich body of testimony: transcripts of forty in-depth phenome...
Article
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Introduction Hallucinations (hearing or seeing things that others do not) are a common feature of psychosis, causing significant distress and disability. Existing treatments such as cognitive–behavioural therapy for psychosis (CBTp) have modest benefits, and there is a lack of CBTp-trained staff. Shorter, targeted treatments that focus on specific...
Article
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Background Experiences of felt presence (FP) are well documented in neurology, neuropsychology and bereavement research, but systematic research in relation to psychopathology is limited. FP is a feature of sensorimotor disruption in psychosis, hypnagogic experiences, solo pursuits and spiritual encounters, but research comparing these phenomena re...
Article
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Auditory verbal hallucinations (AVHs)-or hearing voices-occur in clinical and non-clinical populations, but their mechanisms remain unclear. Predictive processing models of psychosis have proposed that hallucinations arise from an over-weighting of prior expectations in perception. It is unknown, however, whether this reflects (i) a sensitivity to...
Article
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Objectives: Making sense of voice-hearing-exploring the purpose, cause, and relationship with voices-is seen as therapeutically valuable for adults, but there is a paucity of research with adolescents. Family intervention is recommended for young people, yet little is known about families' perspectives on, or role in, a child's voice-hearing. This...
Article
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Auditory verbal hallucinations (AVHs) are typically associated with schizophrenia but also occur in individuals without any need for care (nonclinical voice hearers [NCVHs]). Cognitive models of AVHs posit potential biases in source monitoring, top-down processes, or a failure to inhibit intrusive memories. However, research across clinical/nonclin...
Preprint
Voice-hearing in clinical and non-clinical groups has previously been compared using standardized assessments of psychotic experiences. Findings from several studies suggest that non-clinical voice-hearing (NCVH) is distinguished by reduced distress and increased control. However, symptom-rating scales developed for clinical populations may be limi...
Article
Full-text available
Introduction In several sub-fields of psychology, there has been a renewed focus on measurement practices. As far as we are aware, this has been absent in hallucinations research. Thus, we investigated (a) cross-study variation in how hallucinatory experiences are measured and (b) the reliability of measurements obtained using two tasks that are wi...
Preprint
Experiences of felt presence (FP) are well documented in neurology, neuropsychology, and bereavement research, but systematic research in psychiatry is limited. Reports of FP are a feature of body disruption in psychosis, hypnagogic and hypnopompic experiences, solo pursuits, and spiritual encounters, yet systematic research comparing these phenome...
Preprint
Introduction: In several sub-fields of psychology, there has been a renewed focus on measurement practices. As far as we are aware, this has been absent in hallucinations research. Thus, we investigated (a) cross-study variation in how hallucinatory experiences are measured and (b) the reliability of measurements obtained using two tasks that are w...
Preprint
Full-text available
Auditory verbal hallucinations (AVH) – or hearing voices – occur in clinical and non-clinical populations, but their mechanisms remain unclear. Predictive processing models of psychosis have proposed that hallucinations arise from an over-weighting of prior expectations in perception. It is unknown, however, whether this reflects i) a sensitivity t...
Article
Full-text available
Objectives: To conduct a feasibility study on a new, tablet-delivered treatment for unusual sensory experiences in service-users with an At Risk Mental States for psychosis. Design: A mixed method design was employed, using content analysis to investigate whether service-users and therapists found the new treatment acceptable and helpful. We als...
Article
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Whereas previous research in the medical humanities has tended to neglect theology and religious studies, these disciplines sometimes have a very important contribution to make. The hearing of spiritually significant voices provides a case in point. The context, content and identity of these voices, all of which have typically not been seen as impo...
Article
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Introduction: “Continuum” approaches to psychosis have generated reports of similarities and differences in voice-hearing in clinical and non-clinical populations at the cohort level, but not typically examined overlap or degrees of difference between groups. Methods: We used a computer-aided linguistic approach to explore reports of voice-hearing...
Article
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Bereaved people often report having sensory and quasi-sensory experiences of the deceased (SED), and there is an ongoing debate over whether SED are associated with pathology, such as grief complications. Research into these experiences has been conducted in various disciplines, including psychiatry, psychology, and anthropology, without much cross...
Preprint
Auditory verbal hallucinations (AVH) are typically associated with schizophrenia but also occur in individuals without any need for care (non-clinical voice-hearers; NCVH). Cognitive models of AVH posit potential biases in source-monitoring, top-down processes, or a failure to inhibit intrusive memories. However, research across clinical/non-clinic...
Article
Background: Cognitive behavioural therapy for psychosis (CBTp) is a recommended treatment for psychotic experiences, but its effectiveness has been questioned. One way of addressing this may be to tailor therapy materials to the phenomenology of specific psychotic experiences. Aim: In this study, we investigated the acceptability of a novel trea...
Article
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Ruminative thought is a style of thinking which involves repetitively focusing upon one's own negative mood, its causes and its consequences. The negative effects of rumination are well-documented, but comparatively little is known about how rumination is experienced. The evaluative nature of rumination suggests that it could involve more inner spe...
Article
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Recent therapeutic approaches to auditory verbal hallucinations (AVH) exploit the person-like qualities of voices. Little is known, however, about how, why, and when AVH become personified. We aimed to investigate personification in individuals’ early voice-hearing experiences. We invited Early Intervention in Psychosis (EIP) service users aged 16–...
Article
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Early intervention in psychotic spectrum disorders is critical for maximizing key clinical outcomes. While there is some evidence for the utility of intervention during the prodromal phase of the illness, efficacy of interventions is difficult to assess without appropriate risk stratification. This will require biomarkers that robustly help to iden...
Preprint
Background: Recent therapeutic approaches to auditory verbal hallucinations (AVH) exploit the person-like qualities of voices. Little is known, however, about how, why and when AVH become personified. We aimed to investigate personification in individuals’ early voice experiences. Methods: We invited users of Early Intervention in Psychosis (EIP) s...
Article
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Stories transport readers into vivid imaginative worlds, but understanding how readers create such worlds—populating them with characters, objects, and events—presents serious challenges across disciplines. Auditory imagery is thought to play a prominent role in this process, especially when representing characters' voices. Previous research has sh...
Article
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Writers often report vivid experiences of hearing characters talking to them, talking back to them, and exhibiting independence and autonomy. However, systematic empirical studies of this phenomenon are almost non-existent, and as a result little is known about its cause, extent, or phenomenology. Here we present the results of a survey of professi...
Article
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People rapidly make first impressions of others, often based on very little information-minimal exposure to faces or voices is sufficient for humans to make up their mind about personality of others. While there has been considerable research on voice personality perception, much less is known about its relevance to hallucination-proneness, despite...
Article
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Interacting with imaginary companions (ICs) is now considered a natural part of childhood for many children, and has been associated with a range of positive developmental outcomes. Recent research has explored how the phenomenon of ICs in childhood and adulthood relates to the more unusual experience of hearing voices (or auditory verbal hallucina...
Article
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Objectives Psychological models of voice‐hearing propose that auditory‐verbal hallucinations occur when inner speech is attributed to a source external to the self. Approximately half of the world's population is multilingual, and the extent to which they use a second language for inner speech depends on their experience and competency in it. Bilin...
Article
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Proneness to unusual perceptual states – such as auditory or visual hallucinations – has been proposed to exist on a continuum in the general population, but whether there is a cognitive basis for such a continuum remains unclear. Intentional cognitive inhibition (the ability to wilfully control thoughts and memories) is one mechanism that has been...
Article
The field of digital mental health is rapidly expanding with digital tools being used in assessment, intervention , and supporting self-help. The application of digital mental health to hallucinations is, however, at a very early stage. This report from a working group of the International Consortium on Hallucinations Research considers particular...
Article
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That trauma can play a significant role in the onset and maintenance of voice-hearing is one of the most striking and important developments in the recent study of psychosis. Yet the finding that trauma increases the risk for hallucination and for psychosis is quite different from the claim that trauma is necessary for either to occur. Trauma is of...
Article
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Research into resting-state cognition has often struggled with the challenge of assessing inner experience in the resting state. We employed Descriptive Experience Sampling (DES), a method aimed at generating detailed and high-fidelity descriptions of experience, to investigate how experience in the resting state can vary between internal, external...
Article
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Musical hallucinations (MH) account for a significant proportion of auditory hallucinations, but there is a relative lack of research into their phenomenology. In contrast, much research has focused on other forms of internally generated musical experience, such as earworms (involuntary and repetitive inner music), showing that they can vary in per...
Article
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Inner speech is a common experience for many but hard to measure empirically. The Varieties of Inner Speech Questionnaire (VISQ) has been used to link everyday phenomenology of inner speech - such as inner dialogue - to various psychopathological traits. However, positive and supportive aspects of inner speech have not always been captured. This st...
Article
Full-text available
Auditory verbal hallucinations (hearing voices) are typically associated with psychosis, but a minority of the general population also experience them frequently and without distress. Such 'non-clinical' experiences offer a rare and unique opportunity to study hallucinations apart from confounding clinical factors, thus allowing for the identificat...
Article
Full-text available
Readers often describe vivid experiences of voices and characters in a manner that has been likened to hallucination. Little is known, however, of how common such experiences are, nor the individual differences they may reflect. Here we present the results of a 2014 survey conducted in collaboration with a national UK newspaper and an international...
Article
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We discuss the historical context for explorations of “pristine inner experience,” attempts to apprehend and describe the inner experiences that directly present themselves in natural environments. There is no generally accepted method for determining whether such apprehensions/descriptions should be considered high fidelity. By analogy from musica...
Article
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People with schizophrenia who hallucinate show impairments in reality monitoring (the ability to distinguish internally generated information from information obtained from external sources) compared to non-hallucinating patients and healthy individuals. While this may be explained at least in part by an increased externalizing bias, it remains unc...
Chapter
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This chapter outlines the practice of descriptive experience sampling (DES), a methodology with which Hubbub has experimented. Interdisciplinary DES experiments and workshops during when Hubbub?s residency brought collaborators together to explore the profoundly varied ways in which the resting state can be conceptualized, and the different forms t...
Chapter
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Psychologist Ben Alderson-Day and geographer Felicity Callard share an interest in understanding how interdisciplinary approaches to the brain sciences that involve the social sciences and humanities can help open up new research questions and methods through which to understand pathological and non-pathological states of mind. Both have been inter...
Article
Full-text available
People with schizophrenia who hallucinate show impairments in reality monitoring (the ability to distinguish internally generated information from information obtained from external sources) compared to non-hallucinating patients and healthy individuals. While this may be explained at least in part by an increased externalizing bias, it remains unc...
Article
Full-text available
Auditory verbal hallucinations (AVH) are experiences of hearing voices in the absence of an external speaker. Standard explanatory models propose that AVH arise from misattributed verbal cognitions (i.e. inner speech), but provide little account of how heard voices often have a distinct persona and agency. Here we review the argument that AVH have...
Article
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In recent years, there has been increasing interest in the potential for alterations to the brain’s resting-state networks (RSNs) to explain various kinds of psychopathology. RSNs provide an intriguing new explanatory framework for hallucinations, which can occur in different modalities and population groups, but which remain poorly understood. Thi...
Article
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This review from the International Consortium on Hallucinations Research intends to question the pertinence of the excitatory-to-inhibitory (E/I) imbalance hypothesis as a model for hallucinations. A large number of studies suggest that subtle impairments of the E/I balance are involved in neurological and psychiatric conditions, such as schizophre...
Article
By definition, hallucinations occur only in the full waking state. Yet similarities to sleep-related experiences such as hypnagogic and hypnopompic hallucinations, dreams and parasomnias, have been noted since antiquity. These observations have prompted researchers to suggest a common aetiology for these phenomena based on the neurobiology of rapid...
Article
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Psychology and cognitive neuroscience often use standardized tasks to elicit particular experiences. We explore whether elicited experiences are similar to spontaneous experiences. In an MRI scanner, five participants performed tasks designed to elicit inner speech (covertly repeating experimenter-supplied words), inner seeing, inner hearing, feeli...
Article
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Auditory verbal hallucinations (AVHs) are the experience of hearing a voice in the absence of any speaker. Results from recent attempts to treat AVHs with neurostimulation (rTMS or tDCS) to the left temporoparietal junction have not been conclusive, but suggest that it may be a promising treatment option for some individuals. Some evidence suggests...
Article
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Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) for voice-hearing (i.e., auditory verbal hallucinations; AVH) has, at best, small to moderate effects. One possible reason for this limited efficacy is that current CBT approaches tend to conceptualize voice-hearing as a homogenous experience in terms of the cognitive processes involved in AVH. However, the highly...
Article
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In this introduction we present the orthodox account of auditory verbal hallucinations (AVHs), a number of worries for this account, and some potential responses open to its proponents. With some problems still remaining, we then introduce the problems presented by the phenomenon of thought insertion, in particular the question of how different it...
Article
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The brain's resting-state has attracted considerable interest in recent years, but currently little is known either about typical experience during the resting-state or about whether there are inter-individual differences in resting-state phenomenology. We used descriptive experience sampling (DES) in an attempt to apprehend high fidelity glimpses...
Article
Full-text available
The presence of a childhood imaginary companion (IC) has been proposed to reflect heightened imaginative abilities. This study hypothesized that adults who reported having a childhood IC would score higher on a task requiring the imaginative construction of visual scenes. Additionally, it was proposed that individuals who produced more vivid and de...
Article
Full-text available
Inner speech is often reported to be a common and central part of inner experience, but its true prevalence is unclear. Many questionnaire-based measures appear to lack convergent validity and it has been claimed that they overestimate inner speech in comparison to experience sampling methods (which involve collecting data at random timepoints). Th...
Article
Background and Objectives This study evaluated the effectiveness of an optimised and comprehensive cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) course for spider phobia using the most up-to-date, evidence-based techniques combined into a treatment programme. Methods Twelve individuals with spider phobia were recruited to receive a sequential CBT package del...
Article
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To provide full accounts of human experience and behavior, research in cognitive neuroscience must be linked to inner experience, but introspective reports of inner experience have often been found to be unreliable. The present case study aimed at providing proof of principle that introspection using one method, descriptive experience sampling (DES...
Article
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Introduction The 1 year prevalence of depression in adolescents is about 2%. Treatment with antidepressant medication is not recommended for initial treatment in young people due to concerns over high side effects, poor efficacy and addictive potential. Evidence suggests that cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) is an effective treatment for depressio...
Article
Full-text available
Inner speech is a commonly experienced but poorly understood phenomenon. The Varieties of Inner Speech Questionnaire (VISQ; McCarthy-Jones & Fernyhough, 2011) assesses four characteristics of inner speech: dialogicality, evaluative/motivational content, condensation, and the presence of other people. Prior findings have linked anxiety and proneness...
Article
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Auditory verbal hallucinations (AVH) are complex experiences that occur in the context of various clinical disorders. AVH also occur in individuals from the general population who have no identifiable psychiatric or neurological diagnoses. This article reviews research on AVH in nonclinical individuals and provides a cross-disciplinary view of the...