Theories and explanations

Ikechukwu Obialo Azuonye (1997): A difficult case: diagnosis made by hallucinatory voices, British Medical Journal 315, pp 1685-1686

Bauer S (1970): The function of hallucinations: an enquiry into the relationship of hallucinatory experience to create thought, Origin and Mechanisms of Hallucinations, Keup W (ed), New York, Plenum

Bauer S (1970): The function of hallucinations: an enquiry into the relationship of hallucinatory experience to create thought, Origin and Mechanisms of Hallucinations, Keup W (ed), New York, Plenum

Bentall R.P. et al. (1988) Sensory deception: towards a scientific analysis of hallucinations. Croom Helm, London

Bentall R.P., Claridge G.S. & Slade P.D (1989): The Multidimensional Nature of Schizotypal traits: A factor analytic study with normal subjects, British Journal of Clinical Psychology, Vol.?

Bentall R.P (1990): The illusion of Reality: a review and integration of psychological research into psychotic hallucinations, Psychological Bulletin, no. 107, pp. 82 95

Lisa Blackman (2001): Hearing voices, embodiment and experience , Free Association Books, London, ISBN 1 85343 3

Tony David, Ivan Leudar (May 2001): Head to head: Is hearing voices a sign of mental illness, The Psychologist vol 14, no 5, pp 256-259

Doug Holmes Ph.D, Hearing Voices: Hillary, Angels, and O.J. to the Voice-Producing Brain Shenandoah Psychology Press, [email protected] , 15 February, 1999

Honig A.,Pennings M., M. Noordhoorn E.O.,Escher A.M.A.C., Romme M.A.J. (1993): Auditory Hallucinations; Regional Symposium of the World Psychiatric Association, Koln, Germany

Jaynes J: The origin of consciousness and the breakdown of the bicameral mind: (1976) Houghton Mifflin, Boston

Jaynes, Julian Verbal Hallucinations and Preconscious Mentality Philosophy and Psychopathology, pp. 157-170 Manfred Spitzer and Brendan H. Maher, eds. New York: Springer Verlag, 1990

Verbal hallucinations were studied in a variety of groups. In a sample of hospitalized schizophrenics and a sample of homeless people on the streets on New York City, such voices were often multiple, critical in women, but more often commands in men, and commonly religious. In a carefully randomized sample of normal college students, a questionnaire study revealed that almost a third had “clearly heard a voice when no one had spoken to me.” The voices were identified as parents, friends, dead relatives, or God. From a study of “imaginary playmates,” it was concluded that verbal hallucinations were occurring here also. And a non-verbal group of congenital quadriplegics, who had never spoken but with whom communication would be established, heard voices they identified as God, such voices being usually helpful. Parallels were then drawn between modern verbal hallucinations and what is revealed in ancient texts. Ancient civilizations seem to have been governed by such hallucinations called gods, a mentality known as the bicameral mind. It was concluded that the reason verbal hallucinations are found so extensively, in every modern culture, in normal students, schizophrenics, children, and vividly reported in the texts of antiquity is that such hallucinations are an innate propensity, genetically evolved as the basis of an ancient preconscious mentality.

Jaynes, Julian Hearing Voices and the Bicameral Mind Behavioral and Brain Sciences, September 1986, Vol. 9 (3): 526-527

Discusses auditory verbal hallucinations (VHs) from the viewpoint of case examples, historical evidence, evidence in children, VHs in a nonverbal population, and the bicameral mind. It is suggested that R. E. Hoffman’s discussion of VHs and schzophrenia neglects important considerations (i.e., the history, content, variety, and ubiquity of VHs).

Jaynes, Julian Consciousness and the Voices of the Mind Canadian Psychology, April 1986, Vol. 27 (2): 128-148, Canadian Psychological Association Symposium on Consciousness (1985, Halifax, Canada)

The problem of consciousness and its corollary the mind body problem have been with us at least since Descartes. An approach to a solution to both may be begun by carefully analyzing consciousness into its component features and modes. It will then be seen that consciousness is based on language, in particular its ability to form metaphors and analogies. The result is that consciousness is not a biological genetic giver, but a linguistic skill learned in human history. Previous to that transitional period, human volition consisted of hearing voices called gods, a relationship I am calling the bicameral mind.

Jung C. G. (1969): Memories, Dreams, Reflections, Pantheon Books, Random House, New York

Keup, Wolfram (Ed.) The Origin and Mechanisms of Hallucinations New York: Plenum Press, 1970

I Leudar, P. Thomas and M. Johnston: Self monitoring in speech production: effects of verbal hallucinations and negative symptoms (1994) Psychological Medicine

I Leudar, P. Thomas, D. McNally and A. Glinsky: What can voices do with words? Pragmatics of verbal hallucinations (1997) Psychological Medicine

Background. In this paper we consider verbal hallucinations as inner speech with pragmatics. The specific pragmatic properties of verbal hallucinations investigated included the number of voices, the characteristics that individuate the voices, the sequential characteristics of the dialogues between voice hearers and their voices, the dialogical positioning of voices hearers, voices and other individuals, and how the voices influence voice hearers’ activities.

Methods. These properties were examined in structured interviews with 28 individuals, 14 of whom had a diagnosis of schizophrenia, while 14 were students who did not use psychiatric services.

Results. The analysis showed that voices were most frequently individuated with reference to individuals significant to voice hearers. The talk with voices was typically mundane and related to voice hearers’ on-going activities, as is the case for ordinary inner speech. The voices were typically orientated towards the voice hearer, without direct access to each other or to other people. Contrary to received wisdom, the voices typically did not impel actions of voice hearers, rather they influenced voice hearers’ decisions on how to act. This was so irrespective of the diagnostic status of informants. Finally, we have found some differences between the voices of informants with, and without, schizophrenia. These concerned the alignment of voices, the type of action required by a voice and the degree of dialogical engagement between voices and voice hearers.

Conclusions. We conclude that verbal hallucinations can be fruitfully considered to be a genus of inner speech. Pragmatics can be used as a framework to distinguish verbal hallucinations in different populations.

Parish, E. (1897). “Hallucinations and Illusions: Study of the Fallacies of Perception”. Walter Scott Ltd.; London.

Jennifer B. Ritsher, A Lucksted, P G. Otilingam, and M Grajales, “Hearing voices: Explanations and implications” (2004). Psychiatric Rehabilitation Journal. 27 (3), pp. 219-227

Abstract: Integrating information on voice hearing from multiple disciplines and perspectives, we review current explanatory models and their implications for intervention strategies. Far from always signifying a mental illness, voice hearing may result from other causes, including drug side effects, brain lesions, and culturally-sanctioned phenomena. Accordingly, a wide range of assessment, intervention, and self-management strategies are available and appropriate. We conclude that by offering a diversity of treatment options, eliciting patients’ causal theories, and incorporating these into an individualized treatment strategy, clinicians are likely to help clients control the distressing aspects of the voices, minimize stigma and discrimination, and make meaning of the experience.

See paper here

Slade P.D and Bentall R.P. (1988): Sensory Deception; towards a scientific analysis of hallucinations Croom Helm, London

Slade P.D. (1993) Models of Hallucination: from theory to practice in David, A..S and Cutting, J. (Eds.) The Neuropsychology of Schizophrenia; Earlbaum, London

Slade P.D and Bentall R.P. (1988): Sensory Deception; towards a scientific analysis of hallucinations Croom Helm, London

G. Lynn Stephens, George Graham , When Self-Consciousness Breaks: Alien Voices and Inserted Thoughts (Philosophical Pychopathology Series) by Hardcover – 200 pages (May 2000) Bradford Books; ISBN 0-262-19437-6

Tiihonen, Hari, Naukkarinen, Rimon, Jousimaki and Kajola (1992): Modified Activity of Human Auditory Cortex during Auditory Hallucinations, American Journal of Psychiatry, vol. 149, No.2, pp. 225 257

One response to “Theories and explanations”

  1. Waking Dreams

    Hearing the voices, in itself, is not the problem. The problem is when they occurr in a wrong time (while awake).

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