Continuities and Discontinuities in the Cognitive Mechanisms Associated With Clinical and Nonclinical Auditory Verbal Hallucinations

Moseley, Peter, Alderson-Day, Ben, Common, Stephanie, Dodgson, Guy, Lee, Rebecca, Mitrenga, Kaja, Moffatt, Jamie and Fernyhough, Charles (2022) Continuities and Discontinuities in the Cognitive Mechanisms Associated With Clinical and Nonclinical Auditory Verbal Hallucinations. Clinical Psychological Science. ISSN 2167-7026 (In Press)

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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/nonclinical groups is limited, and the extent to which there may be continuity in cognitive mechanism across groups, as predicted by the psychosis-continuum hypothesis, is unclear. We report two studies in which voice hearers with psychosis (n = 31) and NCVH participants reporting regular spiritual voices (n = 26) completed a battery of cognitive tasks. Compared with non-voice-hearing groups (ns = 33 and 28), voice hearers with psychosis showed atypical performance on signal detection, dichotic listening, and memory-inhibition tasks but intact performance on the source-monitoring task. NCVH participants, however, showed only atypical signal detection, which suggests differences between clinical and nonclinical voice hearers potentially related to attentional control and inhibition. These findings suggest that at the level of cognition, continuum models of hallucinations may need to take into account continuity but also discontinuity between clinical and nonclinical groups.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Funding information: This work was supported by Wellcome Trust Grant WT108720.
Uncontrolled Keywords: hallucinations, psychosis, psychotic-like experiences, cognition, auditory perception
Subjects: C800 Psychology
Department: Faculties > Health and Life Sciences > Psychology
Depositing User: Rachel Branson
Date Deposited: 28 Oct 2021 09:43
Last Modified: 01 Feb 2022 17:15

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