Simon McCarthy-Jones

Simon McCarthy-Jones
Trinity College Dublin | TCD · Department of Psychiatry

PhD

About

106
Publications
61,701
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5,345
Citations
Citations since 2017
28 Research Items
3662 Citations
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20172018201920202021202220230200400600
20172018201920202021202220230200400600
Introduction
My research focusses on all things relating to auditory verbal hallucinations ('hearing voices')

Publications

Publications (106)
Chapter
Freedom of thought is a secular deity, for whom worship exceeds understanding. This chapter aims to contribute to the ongoing conversation about what freedom of thought should mean. It considers why freedom of thought comes to be a prominent topic of interest at particular times, including today. Following Wittgenstein, the importance is stressed o...
Article
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Hallucinations can occur in different sensory modalities, both simultaneously and serially in time. They have typically been studied in clinical populations as phenomena occurring in a single sensory modality. Hallucinatory experiences occurring in multiple sensory systems-multimodal hallucinations (MMHs)-are more prevalent than previously thought...
Preprint
Hallucinations can occur in different sensory modalities within an individual, both simultaneously and serially in time. Historically, they have typically been studied in clinical populations as phenomena occurring in a single sensory modality. Yet, hallucinatory experiences that occur in two or more sensory systems - multimodal hallucinations (MMH...
Article
Adverse childhood experiences are associated with later development of psychosis, particularly auditory verbal hallucinations and delusions. Although auditory hallucinations have been proposed to be misattributed inner speech, the relation between childhood adversity and inner speech has not been previously investigated. The first aim was to test w...
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To lose freedom of thought (FoT) is to lose our dignity, our democracy and our very selves. Accordingly, the right to FoT receives absolute protection under international human rights law. However, this foundational right has been neither significantly developed nor often utilized. The contours of this right urgently need to be defined due to twent...
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This paper presents an outline of voice-hearing phenomenology in the context of evolutionary mechanisms for self- and social- monitoring. Special attention is given to evolved systems for monitoring dominant-subordinate social roles and relationships. These provide information relating to the interpersonal motivation of others, such as neutral, fri...
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Recent psychiatric research and treatment initiatives have tended to move away from traditional diagnostic categories and have focused instead on transdiagnostic phenomena, such as hallucinations. However, this emphasis on isolated experiences may artificially limit the definition of such phenomena and ignore the rich, complex, and dynamic changes...
Article
Abstract Early childhood trauma, defined as physical or sexual abuse, neglect, emotional abuse, harm or threat of harm, has long been associated with adulthood dysregulation of the immune system. Trauma can induce chronic immune system activation and hyper-reactivity demonstrating elevated cytokine concentrations with increased psychotic symptom se...
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Negative voice-content is the best sole predictor of whether the hearer of an auditory-verbal hallucination will experience distress/impairment necessitating contact with mental health services. Yet, what causes negative voice-content and how interventions may reduce it remains poorly understood. This paper offers a definitions of negative voice co...
Article
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Hallucinations are a characteristic symptom of psychotic mental health conditions that are also experienced by many individuals without a clinical diagnosis. Hallucinations in schizophrenia have been linked to differences in the length of the paracingulate sulcus (PCS), a structure in the medial prefrontal cortex which has previously been associate...
Article
The effects of nonconsensual first experiences of sexual intercourse in women are understudied. This was investigated in 3,875 adult women of whom 6.7% reported “persuaded” first-sex and 0.8% reported forced first-sex. Compared with willing first-sex, both forced and “persuaded” first-sex occurred earlier, involved a greater age difference between...
Article
Hallucinations can occur in single or multiple sensory modalities. Historically, greater attention has been paid to single sensory modality experiences with a comparative neglect of hallucinations that occur across two or more sensory modalities (multi-modal hallucinations). With growing evidence suggesting that visual hallucinations may be experie...
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...
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The regional distribution of white matter (WM) abnormalities in schizophrenia remains poorly understood, and reported disease effects on the brain vary widely between studies. In an effort to identify commonalities across studies, we perform what we believe is the first ever large-scale coordinated study of WM microstructural differences in schizop...
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Diffusion tensor imaging studies report childhood adversity (CA) is associated with reduced fractional anisotropy (FA) in multiple white matter tracts in adults. Reduced FA may result from changes in tissue, suggesting myelin/axonal damage, and/or from increased levels of extracellular free-water, suggesting atrophy or neuroinflammation. Free-water...
Preprint
Full-text available
Hallucinations are a characteristic symptom of psychotic mental health conditions that are also experienced by many individuals without a clinical diagnosis. Research has linked the experience of hallucinations in schizophrenia to differences in the length of the paracingulate sulcus (PCS), a structure in the medial prefrontal cortex of the brain w...
Article
Background The longstanding association between the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) locus and schizophrenia (SZ) risk has recently been accounted for, partially, by structural variation at the complement component 4 ( C4 ) gene. This structural variation generates varying levels of C4 RNA expression, and genetic information from the MHC regi...
Article
Background: Whilst evidence is mounting that childhood sexual abuse (CSA) can be a cause of auditory verbal hallucinations (AVH), it is unclear what factors mediate this relation. Recent evidence suggests that post-traumatic symptomatology may mediate the CSA-AVH relation in clinical populations, although this hypothesis has not yet been tested in...
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Full-text available
Research into the causes of “hearing voices,” formally termed auditory verbal hallucinations (AVH), has primarily focused on cognitive mechanisms. A potentially causative role for emotion has been relatively neglected. This paper uses historical and contemporary case studies of AVH to tentatively generate the hypothesis that shame can be a causal f...
Article
Objectives: Cognitive models propose that levels of distress associated with auditory verbal hallucinations ('voices') are influenced by the hearers' beliefs about their voices (perceived malevolence and omnipotence), their negative beliefs about themselves and others and their attachment style. This study aims to test a comprehensive model of the...
Book
Full-text available
https://www.amazon.co.uk/Cant-Hear-Them-Simon-McCarthy-Jones/dp/1785922564/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1490713249&sr=8-1
Article
It is not only unclear why hallucinations in schizophrenia occur with different prevalence by modality, but also to what extent they do. Reliable prevalence estimates of hallucinations by modality in schizophrenia are currently lacking, particularly for non-auditory hallucinations. Studies have also tended to report lifetime, not point prevalence b...
Article
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Hallucinations can occur across the five sensory modalities (auditory, visual, olfactory, tactile, and gustatory). Whilst they have the potential to be benign or even highly valued (Romme et al., 2009; Sommer et al., 2010), they can often be devastating experiences associated with distress, impaired social, and occupational functioning, self-harm a...
Article
Background There is growing evidence to suggest that delusions associated with schizophrenia arise from altered structural brain connectivity. The present study investigated whether structural changes in three major fasciculi that interconnect the limbic system – the cingulum bundle, uncinate fasciculus and fornix – are associated with delusions in...
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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...
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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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This paper explores the experiences of women who “hear voices” (auditory verbal hallucinations). We begin by examining historical understandings of women hearing voices, showing these have been driven by androcentric theories of how women’s bodies functioned leading to women being viewed as requiring their voices be interpreted by men. We show the...
Article
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Hallucinations are common in psychiatric disorders, and are also experienced by many individuals who are not mentally ill. Here, in 153 participants, we investigate brain structural markers that predict the occurrence of hallucinations by comparing patients with schizophrenia who have experienced hallucinations against patients who have not, matche...
Article
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Auditory verbal hallucinations (AVH: 'hearing voices') are found in both schizophrenia and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). In this paper we first demonstrate that AVH in these two diagnoses share a qualitatively similar phenomenology. We then show that the presence of AVH in schizophrenia is often associated with earlier exposure to traumati...
Article
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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
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Auditory verbal hallucinations (AVH) have been proposed to result from altered connectivity between frontal speech production regions and temporal speech perception regions. Whilst the dorsal language pathway, serviced by the arcuate fasciculus, has been extensively studied in relation to AVH, the ventral language pathway, serviced by the inferior...
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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...
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Although there is evidence of both clinical and personal recovery from distressing voices, the process of recovery over time is unclear. Narrative inquiry was used to investigate 11 voice-hearers' lived experience of recovery. After a period of despair/exhaustion, two recovery typologies emerged: (a) turning toward/empowerment, which involved devel...
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Background: Schizophrenia patients with auditory verbal hallucinations (AVH) have reduced structural integrity in the left arcuate fasciculus (AFL) compared to healthy controls. However, it is neither known whether these changes are specific to AVH, as opposed to hallucinations or schizophrenia per se, nor how radial and/or axial diffusivity are a...
Article
This study sought to develop further understandings of the relationships that people can develop with the voices they hear, and to explore the development of these relationships over time. Qualitative data was gathered from 12 people attending peer support groups. A semi-structured interview was used to facilitate the interviews and analysis of the...
Article
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The relation between childhood sexual abuse (CSA) and physical health disorders in adulthood, and what factors may serve as mediators, remains poorly understood. Using data from the 2007 Adult Psychiatric Morbidity Survey (N=3,486), we tested whether CSA was associated with physical health disorders in adult women and if mediated effects via body m...
Book
This book draws on clinical research findings from the last three decades to offer a review of current psychological theories and therapeutic approaches to understanding and treating auditory hallucinations, addressing key methodological issues that need to be considered in evaluating interventions. Mark Hayward, Clara Strauss and Simon McCarthy-J...
Article
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The phenomenological diversity of auditory verbal hallucinations (AVH) is not currently accounted for by any model based around a single mechanism. This has led to the proposal that there may be distinct AVH subtypes, which each possess unique (as well as shared) underpinning mechanisms. This could have important implications both for research desi...
Article
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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...
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The international Hearing Voices Movement (HVM) is a prominent mental health service-user/survivor movement that promotes the needs and perspectives of experts by experience in the phenomenon of hearing voices (auditory verbal hallucinations). The main tenet of the HVM is the notion that hearing voices is a meaningful human experience, and in this...
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This report from the International Consortium on Hallucinations Research considers the current status and future directions in research on psychological therapies targeting auditory hallucinations (hearing voices). Therapy approaches have evolved from behavioral and coping-focused interventions, through formulation-driven interventions using method...
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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...
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We explore how hallucinations might be studied within the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) Research Domain Criteria (RDoC) framework, which asks investigators to step back from diagnoses based on symptoms and focus on basic dimensions of functioning. We start with a description of the objectives of the RDoC project and its domains and con...
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A recent model of a subtype of auditory verbal hallucinations (AVHs) has proposed such experiences may result from increased arousal altering auditory threat perception. This study considered this theory using undergraduate students who undertook a new experimental paradigm, the Auditory Threat Discrimination Task (ATDT). This examined the effects...
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Despite the recent proliferation of scientific, clinical and narrative accounts of auditory verbal hallucinations (AVHs), the phenomenology of voice-hearing remains opaque and under-theorised. In this paper, we outline an interdisciplinary approach to understanding hallucinatory experiences which seeks to demonstrate the value of the humanities and...
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Objective The FOXP2 gene is involved in the development of speech and language. As some single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) of FOXP2 have been found to be associated with auditory verbal hallucinations (AVHs) at trend levels, this study set out to undertake the first examination into whether interactions between candidate FOXP2 SNPs and environm...
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The experience of hearing a voice in the absence of an appropriate external stimulus, formally termed an auditory verbal hallucination (AVH), may be malingered for reasons such as personal financial gain, or, in criminal cases, to attempt a plea of not guilty by reason of insanity. An accurate knowledge of the phenomenology of AVHs is central to as...
Article
Auditory hallucinations (“voices”) can be understood within a cognitive model whereby the beliefs an individual holds about their voices influences their level of distress and how they respond to them. Despite contributing greatly to interventions for voices, the cognitive model appears to have limitations due to its focus on dimensions of voice po...
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For millennia, some people have heard voices that others cannot hear. These have been variously understood as medical, psychological and spiritual phenomena. In this article we consider the specific role of spirituality in voice-hearing in two ways. First, we examine how spirituality may help or hinder people who hear voices. Benefits are suggested...
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Background: The phenomenological heterogeneity of auditory hallucinations (AHs) means individual models struggle to account for all aspects of the experience. One alternative is that distinct subtypes of AHs exist, with each requiring their own unique explanatory model and tailored cognitive behavioural intervention strategies. Aims: This explor...
Article
It is commonly believed that auditory verbal hallucinations (AVHs) come from a misattribution of inner speech to an external agency. This chapter analyzes whether a developmental view of inner speech can deal with some of the problems associated with inner-speech theories. The chapter examines neurophysiological and phenomenological evidence releva...
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The biological disease conception of auditory verbal hallucination holds that their causes and treatment are directed by biology alone, that their discussion is detrimental and their content arbitrary. An alternative view sees voice-hearing as a widespread and meaningful human experience, encouraging a dialogue with the voices in order to discover...
Article
Background: Despite an increasing volume of cross-sectional work on auditory verbal hallucinations (hearing voices), there remains a paucity of work on how the experience may change over time. Aims: The first aim of this study was to attempt replication of a previous finding that beliefs about voices are enduring and stable, irrespective of chan...
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One of the leading cognitive models of auditory verbal hallucinations (AVHs) proposes such experiences result from a disturbance in the process by which inner speech is attributed to the self. Research in this area has, however, proceeded in the absence of thorough cognitive and phenomenological investigations of the nature of inner speech, against...
Article
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Qualitative studies have played an important role in elucidating the lived experience of psychosis and there has recently been an increase in the number of such studies. There is now an urgent need to draw together the findings of these studies. This paper performed a meta-synthesis of inductive qualitative peer-reviewed research into psychosis. Ni...
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A comprehensive understanding of the phenomenology of auditory hallucinations (AHs) is essential for developing accurate models of their causes. Yet, only 1 detailed study of the phenomenology of AHs with a sample size of N ≥ 100 has been published. The potential for overreliance on these findings, coupled with a lack of phenomenological research i...
Article
Objective: Between 7% and 40% of people with Alzheimer disease (AD) experience persecutory delusions (PDs) during the course of their dementia. Although attributional style and theory of mind processes have been linked with PDs in people with psychosis, they have not yet been examined in those with AD and PDs. The objective of this study was, henc...
Article
The use of visual mental imagery has been proposed to be a risk factor for the development of bipolar disorder, due to its potential to amplify affective states. This study examined the relation between visual imagery (both trait usage and intrusive experiences of such imagery), intrusive verbal thought, and hypomania, as assessed by self-report qu...
Article
The meanings and causes of hearing voices that others cannot hear (auditory verbal hallucinations, in psychiatric parlance) have been debated for thousands of years. Voice-hearing has been both revered and condemned, understood as a symptom of disease as well as a source of otherworldly communication. Those hearing voices have been viewed as mystic...
Article
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Understandings of auditory verbal hallucinations (also referred to as “hearing voices”), and help for people distressed by them, are dominated by a biomedical framework. Yet, many people who have sought help for the distress and/or impairment caused by hearing voices express dissatisfaction with treatment solely within this framework, highlighting...
Article
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Despite a growing interest in auditory verbal hallucinations (AVHs) in different clinical and nonclinical groups, the phenomenological characteristics of such experiences have not yet been reviewed and contrasted, limiting our understanding of these phenomena on multiple empirical, theoretical, and clinical levels. We look at some of the most promi...
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The Cognitive Style Questionnaire (CSQ) is a frequently employed measure of negative cognitive style, associated with vulnerability to anxiety and depression. However, the CSQ's length can limit its utility in research. We describe the development of a Short-Form version of the CSQ. After evaluation and modification of two pilot versions, the 8-ite...
Article
Progress in identifying the neural correlates of auditory verbal hallucinations (AVHs) experienced by patients with schizophrenia has not fulfilled its promise to lead to new methods of treatments. Given the existence of a large number of such patients who have AVHs that are refractory to traditional treatments, there is the urgent need for the dev...
Article
Although phenomenological surveys have established the typical properties of auditory verbal hallucinations, little research has examined the key issues associated with hearing voices over time. To explore this, interviews with six young adults with psychosis who heard voices were conducted and analysed using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysi...
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Experience Sampling Methodology (ESM) is ideally suited to test the predictions, and inform the development of contemporary cognitive models of depression. Yet there has been no systematic examination of ESM in depression research. A search of databases (PsychARTICLES, PsycINFO, AMED, Ovid Medline and CINAHL) was conducted to identify studies publi...
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Hypnagogic and hypnopompic (H&H) hallucinations are those experienced on the borders of sleep and waking. Intrusive thoughts have been proposed to relate to the occurrence of such experiences. In a sample of students (N = 299), the present study investigated the relation between auditory and felt-presence H&H experiences, and specific modalities of...